part I.' /> What Is True Christian Love? - Part II


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What Is True Christian Love? - Part II


The sixteen characteristics of true Christian love were outlined in part I of this two-part article. We now take a brief look at those characteristics enumerated in the scripture of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, which says that love (charity):

1. Suffereth long - True Christian love is patient. This characteristic doesn't refer only to having patience with other people, but also to waiting on God. Jesus told his disciples, "In your patience possess ye your souls" (Luke 21:19). And we read, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

2. Is kind - Being kind does not mean being a door mat. However, true Christian love is not mean spirited.

3. Envieth not - Proverbs 14:30 says that envy is the rottenness of the bones; yet there are "Christians" who harbor rottenness in their heart all of their life. This is not true Christian love.

4-5. Vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up - We read in the scriptures that the Lord hates a proud look (Proverbs 6:16-17). We also read, "Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18). It's not difficult to see that being conceited is not practice of true Christian love.

6. Doth not behave itself unseemly - Christian behavior should never be distasteful. Today, there are "believers" in Jesus who use profanity on a regular basis, are rude, and display other types of behavior that is sometimes more shameful than that of people who do not claim to be Christian.

7. Seaketh not her own - The Living Bible Paraphrased paraphrases this as, "(Love) does not demand its own way." However, for a full definition of "seeketh not her own", it should also be said that genuine Christian love does not seek her own glory, rather she seeks to glorify God. "Whether therefore ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).

8. Is not easily provoked - The Living Bible Paraphrased says that charity, "Is not irritable or touchy." This might, however, be better paraphrased as, "is not quick to anger," because we read, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be...slow to wrath" (James 1:19).

9. Thinketh no evil - Proverbs 23:7 says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..." If a person continues to think evil, he will become an evil individual. No one can be evil and practice true Christian love at the same time.

10-11. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth - Sometimes the people we love are in the wrong; however, true Christian love does not rejoice in or with wrong doing, or injustice, regardless of who's involved. The charity of God rejoices in truth and justice for all.

12. Beareth all thing - We read, "And whosoever doth not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:27).

13. Believeth all things - God's word reveals that, "...without faith, it is impossible to please him..." (Heb. 11:6). It also reminds that, " shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Mat. 4:4). True followers of Christ do not pick and choose which things of God they will believe and which ones they will not believe. They believe and live by ALL things of God.

14. Hopeth all things - The whole gospel of Jesus, who himself is the resurrection and the life, rests on the hope of eternal life. How can we keep faith in the hope of eternal life in the hereafter if we cannot keep faith in the hope of God for our temporary life here on the present Earth (St. John 11:25, Titus 1:2).

15. Endureth all things - True Christian love is obedient to the words and counsel of Jesus who said, "...He that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Mat. 10:22). We also read, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that LOVE him" (James 1:12).

16. True Christian love remembers that to be perfect in God's eyes is to be perfect in love. Colossians 3:14 says, "...Put on charity, which is the bond of perfection."

The first and greatest commandment of God to man is to love him with all of his heart, soul, and mind. The second commandment is to love one's neighbor as thyself. Christ taught that all the law and the prophets hang on these two commands (Mat. 22:37-40). How can we fail if we keep the first and second greatest commandments of God? We can't fail, and the love of Jesus for his people is fail proof, which is why he assures his followers that he will never forsake them (Heb. 13:5). True Christian love is love for God above all thing, love for one's neighbor as oneself, and the love of Christ that reaches even to one's enemies (Mat. 5:43-48). It is this kind of love that should be the high goal of the future bride of Christ.

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