All You Need is Love

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February… the love month. It’s the time of year when roses, chocolates, greeting cards, and teddy bears are purchased in abundance. February is all about the love. The Beatles even sang a song about love. Sing it with me, you know the words: “All you need is love, love, love is all you need.” In addition, most of us always tell our loved ones that we love them when we get off the phone or say goodbye. When we sign get well cards, we may sign it, “in Christian love”. We are always expressing love in some form or fashion.

There are so many passages in the Bible that talk about love. We all know John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” What about this passage, “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14). Another verse that comes to mind is John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” God knew that we needed to have a specific definition of love to guide us in our everyday lives. After all, we are commanded to love. By way of scripture, we are to know what love really is and what it is not.

One of the most well-known passages on love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. The people of Corinth had the wrong idea of love, which is why Paul addressed this topic. There were people in the church who were putting themselves ahead of others; therefore, Paul writes a great description of what love does and what love doesn’t do. The verses read, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” Personally, I love these verses, no pun intended. So what do these words really mean?

Love suffers long – It means love is not quick to anger. Love is patient. God is patient with us, so we need to be patient with others.

Love is Kind – It is not rough or harsh. It seeks to do good. It’s a love that reacts with goodness.

Love does not Envy – It rejoices in the successes of others. Love is not in competition with others. It is content with what the Lord has blessed us with.

Love does not Parade Itself – It will wait patiently until others praise it. It does not brag about its own accomplishments, and it does not put itself in the spotlight. It handles its own prosperity and successes in a humble manner. It does not boast.

Love is not Puffed Up – It is not bloated with self-conceit. It understands that one who is full of themselves. Puffed up people think their happiness is above and beyond everyone else.

Love does not behave Rudely – In other words, when you love someone, you won’t do things to put them down.  It behaves with reverence and respect toward all mankind. Christians should never be rude.

Love does not seek its own – It is a trait of selfishness, so it does not seek its own praise. It often neglects its own for the sake of others. It prefers the welfare of others before itself. It is self-sacrificing.

Love is not Provoked – It is not quick-tempered or known to fly off the handle. It is never angry without cause.

Love Thinks no Evil – It has no malice or thinks not of revenge. It takes no pleasure in hurting others. It wishes ill towards no one.

Love Rejoices in the Truth – It does not rejoice over the “vices” of other people. It is pleased when those who differ from us conduct themselves in any manner in such a way as to please God.

Love Bears all Things – It covers as a shield or roof to protect. It is not for publishing the faults of others. Love puts up with one another.

Love Believes in All Things – It gives others the benefit of the doubt. It means that we are able to overlook the offenses and failure of others. “Believing all things” means that we are willing to trust one another.

Love Hopes all Things – When things seem hopeless, God will fulfill all his promises. It never gives up on each other, even when we see one another fall.

Love Endures All Things – It is willing to remain in difficult situations for the sake of one another. It sustains and does not complain.

Love Never Fails – It always overcomes. It always wins out in the end. While other worldly possessions will someday lose their luster only love will always persevere and reside with us even into heaven.

We have seen what loves is and what love is not. Romans 5:8 says “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” His love for us is way beyond my ability to fully comprehend. We call that agape love. God’s love for us is constant and unconditional, and for that I am thankful.