"(Love) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil:" (1 Cor. 13:5)
Wow, some serious points today on the character of Love by God's definition, friends!
Simple, sincere gestures in good manners and courtesy are trademarks of love - did you know that? In today's world especially, it's so easy to be rude and unthinking, isn't it? But what if our God were inconsiderate and rude? What if He reacted in belligerence to our misbehaviors and sin? We'd be up the creek, y'all... for real. When you think about it, even God's rebukes are laced in love and life and His desire to bless us when we come out of conflict with His righteousness. God is amazing.
We know that love is noncompetitive and nonpossessive (in the "suffocating" sense) - therefore it makes sense that it also is not "self-seeking", demanding precedence and its own way. How do folks who "seek their own" make you feel? Yep, enough said.
Unselfishness is God's banner trademark, beloved. Altruism is the true beat of Abba's heart in "sacrifice" one for another. Love is not love by God's definition, unless it is sacrificial. The greatest example of this is in the blood sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, our eternal Example in all things.
Being overly touchy and irritable at times has been a personal struggle. It is my desire to show God's unconditional love to my brethren in Christ, whether I'm under the pressure of sensitive topics or not. It's not love's definition to become rough or hostile towards others because they've stepped on your "landmines", friends. Rather, God wants us to yield to His persevering love and forgiveness of ourselves and others in the face of strain. That's my prayer for all of us.
Finally, for today's devotion, love thinks no evil. This has also been translated, "keeps no record of wrongs"... what an accurate censure of the enemy's chiding within us. In unfortunate cooperation with the flesh, the enemy is the chief accountant of offenses.
How disgusting and heartbreaking to the Lord!
Merciful Father, please enable us to erase resentments, self-talk, and spiteful record keeping; realizing we'd be damned forever if such was Your way... we'd have nowhere to stand if our sins were continually held against us even after we've repented. Please forgive us for doing so to our fellow humans, and change our hearts in this ever-so-critical area, in Christ's Name. Amen.
Hope I've given you lots to think about. (God willing, next time, verse 6.)
(Originally published May 21, 2013; revised Oct. 2015)