How to Love Abundantly: God’s 10-Point Check List

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. ~ Henry Drummond

Love. Can you define it? Can you show how it works? How do you know if you’re doing it right?

God gave us the rules of Divine love in I Cor. 13:4-8 (AMP). The passage is a gauge, a check list, to help you measure your own effectiveness at Love. In it you will find His examples of abundant, perfected love. You can also recognize your own personal ‘sticking points’, those places where Love challenges your actions and reactions.

1.       Love endures long and is patient and kind (v.4) OK, so you’re enduring (because you have to), but are you patient in the process, or do you sigh and harrumph or roll our eyes? Are you kind, or do you blame and complain your way through the problem so that everyone knows how much you’re suffering?

2.       Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy (v. 4)Never is a strong word, and envy can sneak into your thoughts even when you are happy about someone else’s blessing. Avoid the “Why them and not me?” mentality. Remember, God is no respecter of persons (Acts. 10:34). His promises are for anyone who will step out and believe them. Forsake envy for faith.

3.       is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); (v. 4-5) Humility accepts that God is the source of ‘every good gift’. No matter how talented, prosperous or blessed you are, the Bible cautions ‘not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think’ (Rom. 12:3). Instead, value yourself as a child of God and seek to edify and uplift others.  

4.       it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. (v. 5) – Rudeness is rampant in our society. From road rage to impatience in the check-out line, courtesy and patience are rare. Rudeness and offence also show up in foul language and offensive clothing (or lack thereof). Resurrect the simple courtesies of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.

5.       Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; (v. 5) – Do you want what you want when you want it, regardless of other’s opinions? Selfishness is often the source of rudeness and impatience. Instead, learn to set aside your own feelings and desires to honor the needs and desires of those around you.

6.       it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. (v. 5) – Be honest. Do you hold conversations in your head: “It’s not fair!” or “Why should I have to …?” or “Who do they think they are?” Do you stomp and storm and rage? Stop it! Instead, talk to yourself: “I’m not going there. I refuse to be upset by this situation. I will stay rooted and grounded in love. (Eph. 3L17)”

7.       It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. (v. 6) – Injustice means you win at the expense or detriment of someone else. God (rightness and truth) turns situations in blessings for all involved. Compassion, compromise and courtesy can diffuse injustice and re-establish blessing and harmony.

8.       Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, (v. 7) – This is only possible when we realize that Agape is a spiritual decision, not a feeling. No matter what is going on in your life, or how you are treated, you can choose to act in love.

9.       is ever ready to believe the best of every person, (v. 7)Do you gossip? Are you ready to listen when someone shares a juicy tidbit? Do you add to the story, or do you counteract the gossip with a more uplifting opinion? We can never know what someone else is dealing with or why they act the way they do. All we can do is give them the benefit of the doubt. Believe the best.

10.      its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. (v. 7) – Hope is powerful, especially when it is based in spiritual truth. Hope, partnered with faith in God’s promises, understands the impact of love. It can overcome every selfish emotion, every selfish motive and every negative situation.

The passage concludes with the statement, Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end] (v. 8). It is the most powerful force in the universe because directly connects to God and His power.

God is Love, the Bible tells us (I John 4:16). And the Apostle Paul encouraged us to copy or imitate God, just like children imitate their parents. Use this ten-point check list to gauge your own love walk. Love doesn’t stress out. Love doesn’t get upset. Instead, it seeks always to bring abundant blessing, peace and healing into every situation. Love never fails.

Comments

comments

Speak Your Mind

*