Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Cor 13:4-7 (NIV)
Loving people the way this verse describes is almost impossible. Do you really know anyone who doesn’t boast? Or isn’t proud when they make all-state for choir? How about someone who doesn’t keep a record of when they’re wronged? Have you forgotten everyone that owes you money? Or who didn’t say nice things to you in the hallway at school? The list of the things love is in 1 Corinthians 13 is pretty impossible to do. No matter how good your self-control is, can you really say that you do all these things all the time?
If you’re honest, you can probably admit that you don’t always do these things. Yet, that’s how God describes love in this passage. So what are we to do? If we’re told to love like this, but it’s something that is impossible to do, do we just give up?
God gives us great news. In Romans 5:5, he tells us that God’s love has been poured out in our heart. That means we have the love we need in us to love people the way it’s described in this verse. All we have to do is tap into that love and let it flow out of us. Loving people without God’s help is impossible, but thank God He doesn’t require us to do it on our own!