Do We Have The Characteristics Of Love?
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Cor. 13:4-7
In 1 Corinthians we read of many of the characteristics of love. We can see the qualities that love has; what love is and what it isn’t. It is important to know what love is because we are to have it.
Jesus tells us to love one another in John 15:12 and to love our enemies in Matthew 5:44. We are to have love and to show it to everyone. Love is from God and to know God we must have love, as can be seen in 1 John 4:7-8.
So we are to have love; this is obvious. Love is a necessary attribute of a Christian. But how do we know if we have love? How do we show it?
One way to find out if we have love—the proper love—is to ask ourselves: do we have the characteristics of love? We can look at the characteristics of love listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and look at our selves and compare the attributes to see if we have those characteristics. Going through the list step by step can be effective.
“Love suffers long and is kind”. Do we suffer long and are we kind? “Love does not envy”. Do we make sure that we do not envy? “Love does not parade itself, is not puffed out”. It does not behave rudely or seek its own. It is not provoked and thinks no evil, nor does it rejoice in iniquity. Do we make sure that these characteristics are a part of ourselves?
Love “rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Do we rejoice in the truth along with having these other attributes?
If we have each of these characteristics that make up love, then we must have love. These characteristics are good indicators as to whether or not we indeed have love.
And in displaying these characteristics, we also display love. In showing the characteristics such as long suffering and kindness we show love. By not showing characteristics like envy or pride we also show love. Therefore, we should make sure that we examine the characteristics of love and make sure that those characteristics are found within us.
-- John Thrower Jr.