When we look at God’s covenant love we must not forget to include First Corinthians 13:4-8:
“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.
“Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away” (NKJV).
If we do not exhibit this God-kind of attitude, then we must re-examine our commitment to walk in love. The qualities of God’s love in this passage answer the question of what love truly looks like. In light of His love, reconsider our own love walk and let God’s love grow in us.
In the Greek language there are four words that define love. The first is the God-kind of love: “agape.” The second is “phileo” which is brotherly or friendly love. There is a sharp contrast between the two. One is born of the Spirit; the other is born of emotion. Where natural phileo love has its limits; agape is unlimited love. God’s love born in our hearts stands strong even in times when our emotions have a reason to quit loving.
Many who experience failed love have a fear of giving themselves to others. They fear being ignored or rejected. Rather than becoming vulnerable with others, they interact with people in various ways. They may try to control, dominate, intimidate, or manipulate others.
When weak people like this surround us, our love can overcome and compensate for their lack. We can see through their tactics and realize that the real issue is their fear and insecurity. When we walk in “agape” love it distinguishes us from ordinary people.
Proverbs 10:12 tells us that love does not get involved in strife. Instead, love conceals the weakness and sin of others. “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.”
Notice what Proverbs chapter 17 says about love: “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends” (v. 9). Verse 17 says, “A friend loves at all times…”
One of the most outstanding attributes of agape love is that this love stands and does not fail or quit. Agape is one of the fruit of the spirit.
The following questions will help us determine whether or not God’s love is working in us. When we are squeezed by problems or people what comes out? Is it the love of God or anger and fear? Are we intolerant of people? How do we display our love?
Everyone gets rubbed the wrong way by people, but not everyone draws on the love of God that is deposited within them for such occasions. Too often, excuses are used to justify rude or angry reactions. Only after we become honest with ourselves can we fully grasp the way others already see us.