Love that is required and modeled by God is no easy assignment:
Godly love is patient (when we feel that we have must have action right now – right now).
Love is kind ( even when are irritable, in pain, or are so angry we could spit!).
Love does not boast or brag (when we are proud of our accomplishments and want to shout it from the rooftops, or when we feel insecure, and simply want to be accepted).
Love does not envy (in spite of how much we think we deserve, or should have what someone else does)
Love is not arrogant (and refuses to become caught in self-righteousness, or to lift oneself above others around us based on accomplishment, or perceived spiritual or emotional maturity).
Love is not rude (even when we don’t trust – and with good reason).
Love does not insist on its own way (even when we think we know best).
Love is not irritable (even when we are exhausted).
Love is not resentful (even when we have been wronged or betrayed).
Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing (even when we feel that it is justified).
Love rejoices with the truth (even when it causes us to feel shame or regret).
Love bears all things (even when those things bring us to the end of ourselves emotionally, mentally and physically).
Love believes all things (even when what we are believing for seems impossible, and we have believed for longer than is reasonably acceptable).
Love hopes all things (even when we have been hoping and waiting a long time, with what seems little change, and little chance of fulfillment).
Love endures all things (even when those things cause us pain, and we desperately afraid of that the pain will only continue).
Love never ends (even when we are exhausted, fed up, had enough, and everyone else agrees with us that “they would if they were in our shoes”).
And yet godly love is not an assignment, but a requirement.
As we grow and mature in Christ, this is the type of love we are expected to demonstrate. It is not a suggestion, or a beautiful scripture to insert into our wedding ceremony. We are required to demonstrate Christ-like love, daily, to those who are both easy to love, and those who seem to have exhausted our ability to love them. Loving in this manner may cause us to sometimes feel weak, and worn, and used by others.
Imagine Christ’s love for us as He hung on the cross. Betrayed, worn, exhausted, and doubted by the very ones He loved – but still, He loved. And it was through His love that we gained access to the throne of His grace. It was this love of a Savior that dwelt among us and brought light into the darkness.
This is the good news that is attached to this love: There is power in and through and by the love of Christ. When we submit our will, hearts, and minds to God, in order to walk in godly love, we can be used by God to bring about significant change. We can be used to bring light to darkness.
This is how we walk like Christ, in Spirit and truth, and in power.
For the increase of our faith: 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 4:7-21; John 14:34-35; Ephesians 5:1-2; 1 John 2:9-11