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Living Love

1 Corinthians 13 The Love Chapter

 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

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.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, Love does not boast, Love is not proud.

5 Love does not dishonor others, Love is not self-seeking, Love is not easily angered, Love keeps no record of wrongs.

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

7 Love always protects,  Love always trusts,  Love always hopes, Love always perseveres.

8 Love never fails.

But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Can you apply real Love to your life?  Are you sure you are walking in Love every day?  Can you truly say:

I am patient.

I am Kind.

I am not jealous of others or of what they have that I do not have.

I do not envy or covet what others have.

I am not arrogant.

I am not vain.

I am not proud and obnoxious.

I do not act like I am better than other people.

I do not do or say things to make people feel badly about themselves or that make me seem superior.

I am not rude.

I have good manners and treat others with respect.

I do not demand to get my way.

I am not touchy.

I do not fret.

I am not resentful.

I forgive.  AND forget.

I let things go.

I do not dwell in the past.

I do not bring up past mistakes.

I do not keep a record of other’s faults and flaws.

I do not judge others by their past mistakes.

I treat others the way I want to be treated.

I see each day as a new opportunity to do the right thing and I extend that same courtesy to others.

I do not have to tell everyone when I feel hurt or slighted or mistreated.

I think the best of other people.

I am always willing to give another chance.

I always look for the best in others.

I have a good attitude.

I am not happy when bad things happen to other people whether they “deserve” it or not.

It hurts me to see others hurt or mistreated.

I am honest.

I tell the truth.

I do not use the “truth” as a means to hurt someone.

I do not meddle in nor tell other’s business.

I keep secrets and the confidence of those who share with me.

I am strong.

I take up for what is right even if it is not the popular opinion.

I help other people without regard to who they are, what they believe, their gender, their socio-economic status, their title, their ethnicity, their lifestyle, their beliefs or lack thereof.  My goal is to be like Jesus and show the Love of Christ to all I come in contact with in my life.

I do not judge.

I am not just nice to those who agree with me or who are like me.

I am humble.

I am considerate.

I seek out opportunities to help others and to give.

I am kind.

I am not cheap.

I am generous.

I tip well and buy gifts I would like to receive.

I have sympathy, empathy, and pity on those who are hurting or are in need.

I am a positive person.

I think before I speak.

I consider the feelings of other people.

I am more interested in doing what is right than avoiding embarrassment.

I am OK with not being part of the “in” crowd if the “in” crowd is not doing what is right.

I am more concerned with what God thinks about me than what other people think about me.

When you break it down, this is actually how Paul describes real Love.  Paul said you could be the most well spoken, engaging, charismatic evangelist the world has ever known but if you aren’t living a life that emulates the Love of Christ your words and sermons are empty and worthless.

Paul said you could have so much faith and be so close to God that He reveals the future to you and the answers to every mystery and secret and puzzle the world has ever known but if you aren’t living a life that emulates the Love of Christ then none of your knowledge means anything.

Paul said you could be the head of the most productive nonprofit organization on earth, giving up your whole life in order to bring money, food, clothing, housing, relief, and medicine to the poor, hungry, and sick in the world but if you aren’t living a life that emulates the Love of Christ then all of your efforts are in vain and you are just as lost as the person who never gives a dime.

Love is so important that it will never make one iota of difference what ministry you excel at, what charitable mission you complete, or what grand gesture you make in the name of God if you aren’t walking out the Love of Christ in every breath you take.

If preparing your sermon is more important than responding to a hurting soul knocking on your office door then you have missed the mark.

If you gladly give large sums of money to church and charity, volunteer at a soup kitchen, and organize the annual clothing drive in your community but you are rude to the cashier at the market and make gestures when someone cuts you off in traffic then you have missed the mark.

God is not so much concerned with what you do or how much you do as how you do it.  God is not keeping score.  You are not getting extra brownie points because you tithe 15% instead of 10%.  God doesn’t have a calendar on His fridge where you get a gold star because you volunteered for something.

 God cares about how you treat His children and how you represent Him to the world.

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