“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
-1 John 4:16
A Breakdown of Love
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7
A Broken Childhood
I, like many others, have a broken childhood. This is because we live in a fallen world where “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). These means our fight is against Satan and his demons. The good news is we already have the victory in Christ (we have salvation). “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Now, growing up in a world filled with sin and human limits makes it hard for us to truly know God. This is why we put together the two verses above. “(God) is patient, (God) is kind. (he) does not envy, (he) does not boast, (he) is not proud. (He) does not dishonor others, (he) is not self-seeking, (he) is not easily angered, (he) keeps no record of wrongs. (God) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (He) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Human love is imperfect because of our sins. When we sin, we are being selfish and not loving others. But to actually love others, we should be patient and kind, avoid envy, boasting, and pride, honor others and don’t seek our own desires, be slow to anger (James 1:19), don’t keep record of wrongs. We should also not delight in evil but rejoice in the truth (the truth of our salvation and God’s love for us). The hard things mentioned here are in the bottom of the verse. To love, we need to protect, trust, hope, and persevere. It’s impossible to do all these things, however, without the work of the Holy Spirit and help from God.
When We Say, “I Love You”
When we say, “I love you,” we really need to evaluate if what we say is true. Love is an action, not a feeling. Be honest with yourself: are you walking in the love of God, or basing what you say off an opinion? Of course, it’s okay to tell someone you love them! But I think we should all take a moment and see what else we can do to actually show our love because words can prove empty if we aren’t careful.