Attributes of God’s Love
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;KJV Bible http://www.biblegateway.com
What are the attributes of God’s love, which we are to follow? In 1 Corinthians 13 the writer tells us that charity is love. He is not saying what love feels like, he is telling us what love is and what it does.
One of the attributes of God’s love is long suffering
Long suffering refers to a person who has endured something unpleasant for a long period of time, yet remained patient throughout. It shows self-restraint when we really want to show anger.
Does this mean we should allow others to do or say things that hurt us? No, absolutely not! If we are bullied or abused by others, we need to talk to God and have him direct us on what we should do. The Lord may direct us to contact a close friend or perhaps even a professional. If that’s the case, seek out someone who will understand and be able to help you. The Bible tells us that we must not carry anger and hurt. It’s very important, for our own sake, that we find a way to forgive those who have hurt us. In most cases, we can not do that on our own, but we can do all things in God’s strength. See also Romans 5:3-5 and Suffering – Romans 8: 28
If someone hurts our feelings or annoys us, our first response should not be to anger. Best to talk to God and to pray for them. Perhaps we realize that we are hurting or annoying others. Ask the Lord to help you to talk to the person, asking for forgiveness from them.
Another of the attributes of God’s love is: Love is kind
Kindness is similar to patience but with kindness we show our love. Someone has just done or said something that immediately raises our temperature. Our first reaction is anger, however by taking a deep breath and remembering that love is kind, we can often show the others grace. That person may be drawn to Jesus, after they witness how kind, helpful and forgiving Christians are.
Love is not envious is counted as one of the attributes of God’s love.
Envy should never take residence within us. Let’s say that we wanted something (a job perhaps) but someone we considered not worthy of the job, got it instead of us. Normally, we would respond with jealously which would draw out our anger.
We need to remember that although Father God is in control of our lives and has given us the gift of free-reign, we still should make good choices. God would prefer us to live and love by his example however, he will not force us to abide in his ways. We could go and fight for the job we believe we deserve, but where is God in that scenario?
He wants us to live and love by his example, but will not to force us to do so.This is an opportunity where we would take a deep breath and go over and congratulate the person. Saying it through clenched teeth won’t help. It must come from our hearts and we should be happy for them. God is looking after us and right now we are exactly where we should be.
Love is not to be conceited
“Look at me, look at what I’ve accomplished.” Or “look at what God has given to me”. Both of these statements are made to encourage other’s to see how great or fortunate we are. Conceited people want the attention and to show off. That’s not love! Love is gracefully accepting something and being happy for it, not being conceited or a braggart.
Love does not draw attention to oneself
We are not to behave in a manner which draws attention to oneself, nor does love take pride in itself. Let’s say a man gives money to the poor and then comes back to tell all his friends and family what a great thing he did. Where is the love in that situation? He would be better to give and tell no-one. What really counts was God witnessing the true love of giving without expecting anything in return, from the man.
Love does not think only of oneself
That leads us to the next way of love. We should look around and see who it is that needs help and how can we help them. It should never be about how comfortable we could make ourselves but how we can do something to make someone else comfortable.
Love is not easily provoked
It seems everyday we run into something that gets under our skin. If we allow this anger to get the better of us, then very soon we are doing or saying or living in a way that is not pleasing to God. We need to catch the anger right away and stomp it into the ground, then live in the way Jesus intended.
Love is not thinking of evil things
If we hold onto hurts, anger, fear or anything which is not of God, then they have a tendency to grow and expand. Soon that tiny little piece of anger we tucked away has become this huge giant ball of hatred. We’ll be wanting revenge! It’s important to deal with the evil as soon as it hits. We must cover the evil with the blood of Jesus. We can’t give evil time to settle in. So, without a minute to lose, we pray over it immediately and have it gone.
Jesus Christ shed His blood to cover the sins of everyone ever born. However, only those who accept Jesus’ sacrifice of spilled blood and the cross will we be able to use his blood for protection and other blessings.
So we see that love comes through many different ways. It is a wonderful feeling that fills our bodies with the compassion for others and the peace of God. With the help of Jesus, we can be on the alert for the wickedness of the enemy, making it easy to overcome Satan’s pitfalls each and every day.
My prayer for 1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Father, you loved us first and have taught by example. Thank you that Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross for us. Even in his last moments, Christ showed us love, not anger.
Following his example, may Jesus always be seen in me. Help me to be humble, happy and to be a servant to others. Please guide me to always see whom you have placed in my path and may I find ways to help them.
Father, I pray that anything I have, anything I do or anything I am in control of, never puffs me up. My hope is that I only see you Father leading me in the way I should go.
As your child, you will always give me the opportunity to do your will Lord. Help me to always be thankful to do what you ask me to do.
In the precious and Holy name of your Son, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.