“Love is patient, love is kind. Love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up.” I Corinthians 13:4
Our challenge this Summer will be to get our human minds around the idea of a supernatural love.
You get the idea you may be in trouble when you learn that the first characteristic of this “agape” love is patience. We learned that patience means having a “long fuse”. It is the ability to take abuse from another without being overcome by anger. If you can do that you have love but if not, you don’t!
Love is also kind. Paired with patience, kindness means that a loving “long fused” person absorbs unkindness and returns kindness. If you can do that you have love. If you cannot you don’t have it.
One of the barriers to patience and kindness is envy. You can’t be patient or kind if envy is in your heart. The word used for envy means to “boil over” with zeal for what someone else is or for what someone else has. You cannot love a person and be envious toward them. You won’t find it in you to be patient or kind, either.
Is there someone you envy?
Think about your attitude toward him.
Are you happy when that person succeeds?
Can you congratulate him and really mean it?
It was envy that motivated Cain to kill Abel. You would think a brother would love his brother, but because of envy he couldn’t.
What caused Joseph’s brothers to toss him into a pit to kill him and then deciding to sell him as a slave? It was envy!
Envy drove King Saul to pursue David with the intention of killing him.
Love does not envy.
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
This is going to be hard, isn’t it?