Love – A Strong Bond

Difficulties and divisions had arisen in the Corinthian church. This is why Paul wrote the chapter on love in 1 Corinthians 13. Just as cement holds a building together, so true agape love holds the church together. No church, no matter how spiritually mature it may be, will be able to avoid the dangers of unkindness and division. That is why this word applies to all of us.

You could look at this chapter from different points of view. We could look at everything a person does – be it their abilities, their willingness to make sacrifices, their faith, and much more – as worthless without love. We could describe the characteristics of true love. But in this article, we want to look at what love does not do.

Love thinks no evil 

This love does not immediately see a wrong motive in the actions of another. It is precisely mistrust that so often disturbs the healthy, harmonious relationship between children of God. Therefore, if we hear or see something negative about another person, we do not want to form a hasty opinion. In most cases, such hastily-formed opinions are not correct. 

Almost without exception, I have regretted forming a judgment without knowing the exact background beforehand. On the contrary, when I started from the fact that love does not impute evil, I was always able to form a more accurate judgment. In some situations, we also have to take a stand on the missteps in a person’s life, but we should always look for the good first. 

Love does not rejoice in iniquity

When others fail, are we really saddened by it? Or do we say: “That’s what I thought!” We don’t like to talk about things that grieve us. We would much rather talk about things that give us joy. Some people are so quick to talk about others’  failures and explicitly emphasize that they are very saddened by their neighbor’s actions. The matter would be much better served if they prayed first before talking about their neighbor’s failure.

It is true that some problems need to be discussed among believers in a close circle. However, such things should not simply be passed on thoughtlessly and hastily. We all have our weak points. Do you know how believers can work together in great unity despite all their weaknesses?  If they always look at the positive and good sides of their brothers and sisters first.

I have found that when I have been irritated by a particular weakness in someone’s life, the best way for me to get over it is to look at their good qualities. How small the weaknesses of others then become!

Love does not envy

You could also say that love is not jealous. If we are envious or jealous, if we cannot rejoice in the achievements and accomplishments of others, then we lack true love. Jealousy and envy produced the first murderer. Cain was jealous because God recognized Abel’s sacrifice and not his. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12 that the gifts and talents in the body of Christ are different. It is God’s order and purpose to give everyone different gifts so that His body is perfect. We must learn to appreciate, respect, and love one another with our special tasks and abilities. A person can be truly joyful if he stands faithfully in his given place, whether in the church or at work, and is not envious of the position and salary of others.

Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up

Some believers are not jealous but are very proud of their achievements and abilities. They think they are much more intelligent and gifted than everyone else. This was also the problem in the Corinthian church. Some believed they had more valuable gifts and compared themselves with the others. This is one of the worst dangers in the church, when we compare our abilities with those of our brothers and sisters. This does not come from love. It is so much better for us if we give heartfelt praise and encourage others. 

Love does not behave rudely

Love is never rude. When we run out of patience, we think we need to give the other person a piece of our mind. But true love never does that. Of course, in some situations we have to assert ourselves and stand our ground, but it always depends on how we do it. Love does not behave inappropriately.

Love is not provoked

Sensitivity is also a big problem. How easily we allow ourselves to be hurt. True love is not so quick to realize that one has been mistreated. We simply have to accept the other person as they are. Of course, it’s also wrong for someone to say: “This is the way I am and so you just have to accept me.”

I believe that we should always strive to become more Christ-like. Our temperaments are so different. One is quiet, the other talks a lot, one is slow, the other fast, etc. But if we love one another, then these things must not interfere with our fellowship. 

Love does not seek its own

We are all selfish by nature. We always seek our own advantages. Love is concerned with the good of others. We will never be useful in the work of God’s kingdom if we think that everything has to revolve around our own interests. Working for the Lord, in particular, requires a great deal of selflessness and sacrifice. Only when our own interests and desires die can fruit come forth for the salvation of the lost.

What holds believers together? It is true love! In Colossians 3:12-14, the apostle Paul says: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering…But above all things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.