I Corinthians 13:4-7

LOVE IS PRACTICAL

MEMORY VERSE: I Corinthians 13:4: Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.

But how do we know when love is present? What are the practical effects of love?

Love suffers long. That is love reacting. Love puts up with many things. Peter had to learn a lesson in love when he asked how many times he should forgive, Love doesn't ask.

Love is kind. Here is the positive side of love's patience. A great preacher of the past said: "If you are not very kind, you are not very spiritual."

Love does not envy, does not vaunt itself and is not puffed up. All envy and pride spring from selfishness -- catering to self. Love is not selfish. Therefore the loving person behaves properly and does not seek the place of prominence.

Love is not easily provoked. What small things shake and break us. Why'? The absence of love.

Love does not look for weakness in another. It is not glad when faults are found. It is not lurking like a detective, hoping to find some shortcoming in a brother or sister in Christ. Love would rather be wronged than to wrong another.

Love bears all things. And believes all things. That is, love endures the slights and attacks of others and then expects the best of them. Love is optimistic about the future of those who wound it.

The practical effects of love help us to understand its power. There is only One who perfectly demonstrated love at all times. In looking to Him (Hebrews 12:2), we can be living examples of His love!


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