“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres .8 Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)
If you’re just reading this series on ‘the characteristics of agape’, I’d kindly suggest you take out the time to read all the other posts that have come before this one. All links to previous posts in this series are found in the Bible text above. I guarantee they’ll be worth your time as each post would help you better understand how God expects us to treat others as we sojourn on earth as His children and His ambassadors.
1 Cor. 13:5 tells us more about what love, the God-kind of love is not. Love does not dishonor others or as is rendered in the New century Version (NCV), Love is not rude. To be rude amongst other things means to be insensitive, impolite, disrespectful and inconsiderate of other people’s feelings and needs. This therefore means that love is
Polite, respectful and considerate of other people’s feelings and needs
NO MATTER WHAT
Whether we’re correcting a domestic help or having a disagreement or simply having a ‘bad day’, God expects us not to be rude in word or in conduct. This doesn’t mean that we never stand for what is right or that we allow bad behavior to persist. It just means that in our approach to resolving such matters, we still put forth the effort to ‘speak the truth in love’ (Eph. 4:15). Just take another look at the image above. Every of our insensitive words and/ actions have the same effect on others as the man’s foot does on the heart and spirit of the woman he has ‘dishonored’. Let’s learn to let the love of God dominate us. It’s not always easy, but it’s possible and equally important that we fully understand God’s expectations of us so that as we know what an increasingly Christ-like character looks like.
It really doesn’t matter that it’s become culturally acceptable in our society to be rude. All that matters is that we’ve been called not to conform to the world’s selfish standards of ‘speak my mind and act as I like regardless of how that affects you’ but instead that we are renewed in our thinking to the point where we always think in terms of ‘what would be the most respectful way to address this situation‘. Love is not rude. You and I shouldn’t be rude. May God help us never to forget that, amen. Shalom!
Now please say this with me – again:
“The love of God has been shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost. I shall endeavor to let that love nature dominate me. I have God’s love nature in my heart – in my spirit. Therefore, I’ll not let my natural reasoning dominate me. I refuse to allow the flesh to rule me. I’m going to walk in the Spirit by walking in love.
I am a lover not a hater.
I will practice and exercise the fruit of love so that it can grow and increase. …….I will make the love of God my great quest in life, for then my love shall abound, and God shall reap the glory.
N.B. The above confession is an excerpt from Rev Kenneth Hagin’s book : ‘LOVE: The way to victory’.
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