A Different Sort of Love

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

In John 14:27, Jesus told His disciples that He will give them peace, but not as the world gives. We could say the same about His love: It’s different than the world’s love. Let’s compare the two.

The World’s Love
The world does have a form of love, but it’s limited. The world, for example, loves its own (John 15:19). Many people who make no religious claim, love their families and love their country. They often love their pets and treat them well. They love their sports teams and entertainers. Clearly then the world does love, but they love differently than God’s children.

God’s Love
Godly love demonstrates patience with others, without resorting to envy or self-promotion. It does not treat people with tactless contempt, but due consideration. Godly love yields to others and allows them to have their way, if it does not bring dishonor to God. It does not erupt in explosive anger or open hostility, but instead makes allowances for human weaknesses and failures. Furthermore, godly love does not harbor resentment against others. Why? For one good reason: God has forgiven us so we must forgive others (Ephesians 4:32). God’s love rejoices in the truth and bears much for the sake of Christ.

We then see a difference between God’s love and the love that comes from this world. When we demonstrate God’s love, they see something of God’s own love for them. Speaking words of love and performing deeds of love directs people to the love that God has for them.

We need to be careful not to adopt the world’s love in our own thinking. By default, we inherit the world’s love because that’s all we knew before we trusted Christ. We loved our friends and hated our enemies. We were nice to those who were nice to us. We either got back, or got even. We often blurred love with lust, and gave love our own definition.

Let’s ask God to fill us with His love, a godly love. Then we need to daily demonstrate God’s love to a dying world in need of a touch from heaven. Have we sacrificed for others lately? Have we shown compassion and lifted burdens? May God grant us strength, and love others through us.

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