- Spirituality without love is empty – Without love we are “nothing”.
- Spirituality without love is fruitless – We “profit” nothing without love (v. 3).
Love is often communicated in different ways: by words, gifts, by service, with time, or by touch, to paraphrase Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Languages of Love. Discovering the most effective manner to communicate love is a necessity ingredient if we are to enjoy love as we should.
II. LOVE IS AUTHENTICATED BY AN ATTITUDE OF COMPASSION (13: 4-6)
In these vivid verses which plumb the depths of love, Paul lists the qualities of love by stating nine of them in the negative as to what love is not, and lists three traits related in the positive. Love is “patient” (from “macro” for long, and “thumei” for passion, meaning that love is very slow to boil over or be resentful).
Second, love is “kind” referring to its nature to be mellow or graceful (from “chrestos”).
Third, love rejoices with the truth, which suggests that the genuineness of our love is proven by its marriage with the truth of God and with interpersonal honesty. Love can be negatively impacted and tarnished by a number of culprits in our lives such as:
- Unforgiveness – Proverbs 15: 16
- Fatigue and stress – I Kings 19:4, as in Elijah
- Secret sin – Psalms 32: 3-4
- Aimlessness – Proverbs 13: 12
III. LOVE MOTIVATES HOPE IN THE FUTURE (13: 7-8)
Love has the uncanny ability to provide strength in a relationship and do what cannot otherwise be done. It provides stability under pressure (bears from “stego” for strength). Love is reflected in the one we love in that it believes all things (v.7).
Love causes us to look for the good in others in that it “hopes”. It “endures” and provides stability for the future. These qualities and more are the ingredients of a love affair which God approves!