Monday, March 10, 2014

PROVING LOVE


By Angeline M Duran Santiago


Whoever does not love, does not know God, 
because God is love. 1 John 4:8

1 Corinthians 13 verse 3-
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Our good deeds, sacrifices, giving in private or giving to others so that we may be seen are empty acts of self worship. If we do not have love inside of us, these things are meaningless. We don't prove loving this way because what is done without love, is for show. If we do not have love, could it be the same as not having God? not knowing God? because God is love....


verse 4-
Love is patient, love is kind. 

Have we been patient with our children today? Has our patience run thin with our spouses? Have we taken the time to listen, to look at others with love? With so much throughout the day, have we been able to endure patiently? Were we able to been kind to family and neighbors. Lord, the whole "love your neighbor" can be so hard at times. Has kindness come forth from us in any way?

verse 4- 
It does not envy. It does not boast, it is not proud.

We are called to be content and happy with those blessing in our lives. We may not have it all but it is not an excuse to become envious, jealous and hurtful towards others who have a little more. God's blessings will come into our lives as well. He knows what we need and if it will be a blessing for us. We are called to be joyful and celebrate when others are blessed, not to become arrogant, envious, and bitter.
The moment we think ourselves better than others, there just can't be love in our attitude or expression because love is not hurtful.


verse 5-
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,

If I intentionally go out of my way to speak and behave disrespectfully and dishonorably towards anyone, especially my family, my parents and those I spend each day with, I definitely am misunderstanding what love looks like. Love is never about what I want. Love is never about pleasing ourselves or having our way. Love is always putting others first, even when it's uncomfortable. 

verse 5-  
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

I struggle with anger many times. I can lose my calm many times and unfortunately with the one I should never let my emotions lose on. But, love is not easily angered. Lord, help me in this area because if your love abides in me, I should be able to react differently. And, love doesn't keep reminding someone who has apologized countless times, of what they did years ago, days ago, minutes ago. Love forgives and allows God's healing to flow in their lives so that, just as God has forgiven our many mess ups and doesn't bring them up as daily reminders, we too can move on. God doesn't have a list with tally marks to say, "Oh, remember when you did this, no.1..." If we love, let us forgive, and move on. Let God restore with love.

verse 6-
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

Imagine someone happy because wrong came to another person. "Oh they had it coming!" someone may say. "That's for payback!" another will say. But, love doesn't act that way. Love is compassionate even when we've been wronged, we place our hurt in God's hands and let him have vengeance. He fight our battles if we can trust him. Instead, rejoice in knowing that God not only has our backs, but will work on our behalf. Rejoice because God is with us! He honors us as we walk in truth and puts others to shame.

verse 7- 
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love stands with you and in front on you to shelter you from the storm and oncoming terror. Love shields you. Love is not fearful and worried. There is such a trust in others because love abandons itself to believe in others, even when they've failed, love is always believing the best and not the worst in others, giving a second chance, over and over again. 

Love doesn't give up. There may be moments of almost falling down, but love continues to hope for the impossible, for miracles, for something greater. Love never gives up. Love remains faithful even when all that is evident is doubt, darkness and discouragement. In the midst of hatred, evil and sadness, love, true love, always reigns.

Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

God is love. I guess that's the best way to define love. If God is truly in our hearts, then we can take this part of scripture and try our best to live it knowing God, in our hearts, will move in us with love and help us express love in every possible way.