1 Corinthians 13:4–13
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Cor. 13:5)
My cat, Happy, often rubs her cheek against my ankle and meows in her sweetest kitty voice, seeking attention. But when I reach down to lift her up, she scoots away. She doesn’t want cuddles; she only wants me to pet her. She prefers love on her own terms: animal terms. With her way of love, only one of us is happy.
The world’s method of loving is similar to Happy’s approach. It’s a me-first mentality that never considers what’s best for anyone else. If I like your looks, the way you treat me, or how you make me feel, I say, “I love you.” I may stick around for a while, as long as you do what I prefer. If not, I walk away. In this system, neither of us is happy.
God’s manner of love behaves the opposite. He gave His best gift to us, never considering His own comfort. As His children, we should not demand love on our own terms, like mere animals or unbelievers. Because we are born of His Spirit, the way we love should reflect His heart. A love that shows itself in unselfish ways, seeking the well-being of others before our own comfort, is God’s kind of love.
If each one in the Lord’s family developed this mindset, trying to outdo each other by loving God’s way, we’d all be happy.
Show love to a family member today in an unselfish act of service.
Jeanette Levellie is a pastor’s wife, mother, and grandmother from Paris, Illinois. She enjoys public speaking, writing, and spoiling her cats.