The love of God is our spiritual barometer, the gauge of progress as we move away from being dominated by the flesh. As we become spiritually attuned to God, we exude His love. Our love for others shows our spiritual health.
Please be aware that often God will place you with people who just don’t do life the way you do it. They don’t think or respond the way you do. Sometimes the “round peg, square hole” times, when you just don’t seem to fit into an environment, are just the recipe God is looking for to move you into walking in love. Love is easy when you like the people you’re involved with. But, our true colors, who we really are, show brightly when we are challenged. This will probably happen in life today!
Use love as the benchmark of your spiritual progress. Ask God to help you develop this precious gift that He’s placed in your spirit. The following is a compilation of several translations of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. This will help you plot your progress. Use it daily as a guide:
Let me describe love. It is slow to lose patience; love stays in difficult relationships with kindness, and it always looks for ways to be constructive. There is no envy in love. It is not possessive and never boils over with jealousy. Love makes no parade of itself; it never boasts, nor does it puff up with pride. Love is never arrogant and never puts itself on display, because it is neither anxious to impress, nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own importance. Love never gets irritated and is never resentful.
Love holds no grudges, and it keeps no record of evil done to it. Love refuses to be provoked and never harbors evil thoughts.
Love is not rude or grasping or overly sensitive, nor does love search for imperfections and faults in others. Love does not compile statistics of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails. Love celebrates what is real and not what is perverse or incomplete.
Love never does the graceless thing. Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage. Love never insists on its own rights, never irritably loses its temper, and never nurses its wrath to keep it warm. Love is not touchy.
Love can stand any kind of treatment because there are no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust. Love bears up under anything; it perseveres in all circumstances. Love’s first instinct is to believe in people. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best in him, and always stand your ground in defending him. Love never regards anyone or anything as hopeless. Love keeps up hope in everything. Love’s hope never fades.
Love keeps on keeping on! It trusts in God in every situation and expects God to act in all circumstances. Love goes on forever. Nothing can destroy love. Nothing can happen that can break love’s spirit. In fact, it is the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.