Real Love

Sometimes we get mixed-up and confused about love.

One way we get confused is in our prayers.  We pray for the Lord to change someone we love.  When God answers that prayer, we doubt the change.  We wonder if it’s real or if it will last long.  We might even not like the change we prayed for.  But love “believes all things.” I Corinthians 13:7.  If we have prayed according to God’s will, then God will answer and His work is not in vain.  It helps to pray not only for the other person, but also for yourself that you will see God’s working and be grateful for it.

We might get perturbed about some fault or faults in our loved one and totally miss the blessing of his strengths.  We miss the blessing because we are focusing on the “wrong” things about the other person.  I put wrong in quotation marks because what we view as wrong might not be wrong.  It might be something that we wish were different about that person to suit ourself.   Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8   That verse doesn’t mean that we ignore sin but that we allow God’s love to deal with them.  For that to happen we need to bring these things that concern us about another person to God in prayer.  If our prayers contain both requests about the other person and about ourself and how to handle the matter, God’s love will be at work.

We should bring the “wrongs” to God and not to others.  By telling other people about our loved one’s faults, we are causing them to miss blessings from our loved one.  It is important that we protect our loved one, whether family or friend, from ridicule or scorn, because God is working in and through people’s lives and we shouldn’t want to destroy God’s work.   Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous . . . it does not seek its own . . .does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth   I Corinthians 13:4-6

Another aspect of love is how often we define love according to ourselves and our desires.  We can easily become self-centered in our view of love.  Yet Godly love is being focused on the other person and not on ourself.   Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor  Romans 12:9-10

Some people look for love in places other than in God.  Some people look to friends to hopefully give them love.  Drugs and alcohol are other choices people make in an effort to help themselves feel goo or to make themselves be more accepted by others.  The story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-24 indicates that these viewpoints will not meet the need.  Friends are temporary.  Drugs and alcohol will soon destroy the mind and the body.

God is the person to turn to for love.  His love never fails.  If we give ourselves to Him and allow Him to guide us, He will take care of all the needs or our lives.  Trust Him to know what is best and to provide it in His time.  He does not tease or play with our emotions.  He does all things purposefully for our good to God glory.  God’s love will never fail.

Oh, that we would allow God to control our hearts and minds to love as He loves.

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love,
I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge;
and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor,
and if I surrender my body to be burned,

but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;
love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,
endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7

A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another, even as I have loved you,
that you also love one another.
John 13:34

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