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8/17/16 – Unconditional Love makes Believers different from the world

Published: Wednesday, 17 August 2016 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  1 Corinthians 13:4

This verse is from the well-known passage from the Bible, 1 Corinthians, and Chapter 13.  Love in this passage is the Greek word, agape, that means “unconditional love”.  God is the author of unconditional love.  This kind of love would not be present in the world without Believers exercising unconditional love.  Jesus demonstrated the ultimate example of unconditional love when He allowed Himself to be crucified for the sins of all human beings. 

As human beings, we have a difficult time with expressing unconditional love.  The most common abuse of unconditional love by Believers is attaching conditions to loving others.  We are to love other Brothers and Sisters unconditionally.  This is not seen by the world when churches (body of Christ) split over such mundane items such as the color of the carpet, the type of music, the overall direction of a church, and many more issues.  These items are not worth a church split when you consider the unconditional love of Christ shown on the cross. 

 

We can allow all kinds of worldly situations to cause animosity between Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  The world does not understand unconditional love when anger and rejection occurs among Believers.  As a Believer, God expects you to unconditionally love all other people to the point of having to sacrifice something of value. 

Jesus is quoted as saying that we should love our enemies with this same kind of unconditional love (Matthew 5:43-48).  This becomes very difficult when someone says the wrong thing to us or does something that makes you feel belittled.  Again, God expects Believers to love our enemies.  Think about how hard it is to unconditionally love politicians during an election year and while serving in office.  Think about unconditionally loving someone who has wronged you.  Think about unconditionally loving the people that some would consider unlovely.  These are difficult examples of demonstrating unconditional love, but God expects you to love.

The verse above contains five of the many descriptions of unconditional love contained in 1 Corinthians 13.  The first is patient.  No matter how aggravating someone else is toward you, God expects you to be patient.  How long? - As long as it takes to resolve the situation.  Love is kind means no ugly words or nonverbal behavior.  Kindness does not evaluate whether someone is eligible to receive unconditional love from you.  Love does not envy.  Believers are to be content with what they have received from God.  You are not to look at what others have and wish that you had them.  Love does not boast.  The only reason anyone boasts about anything is to injure the emotions and feelings of others.  Unconditional love does not want to feel superior to anyone else. 

Finally, love is not proud.  Prideful actions and words by a Believer are so ugly when placed beside the death of Christ on the cross.  Not exercising unconditional love must disappoint God severely.  God expects all Believers to express unconditional love to all others at all times.  This cannot be done without the power of the Holy Spirit. 

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