LOVE IS AN INVESTMENT
1st Corinthians Chapter 13
By Glenda Ward
What is love and how do we love better? Why should we choose to love? Love is an investment. It is inspirational and practical. But there are moments when we become impatient and forget to love. The verses in Chapter 13 of 1st Corinthians give us instructions and reasons to choose to love. Love is a sacrifice. When you are laying the foundation for your future and you invest in love, you get an outstanding return. If you invest without love you end up selling yourself short and get far worse than what you are worthy of. Scripture says if you do not have love, it profits you nothing. Even the greatest of all sacrificial actions are of no benefit without love.
The Bible is the Living Word, the written truth that reflects reality. Scripture is full of admonitions (high-octane encouragement) to inform us of what is True because God wants us to gain an understanding of love. None is greater than Paul’s admonition to love. When we choose to love, we also seek the best for ourselves because love is profitable to us. In giving love, we participate in the blessing of love. We receive as we give. (Reference 1st Corinthians 13:1-3).
Love is more important than all the Spiritual gifts exercised in the church body. Great faith, acts of dedication or sacrifice, and miracle-working power produce very little without love. Love makes our actions and gifts useful. Love is available to everyone. Sometimes we get irritated or angered by others. Much irritability comes from our desire to be perfectionists in what we do and in what we have in our surroundings. A desire to run things perfectly can erupt in anger at people who get in the way or even ruin that desire. And marriage is no exception. In marriage, we need to remember that perfection exists only in God. We are to love Him and not the visions we have for perfection here in our life.
Paul wrote that love abides forever. Today in morally corrupt marriages love has become a mixed-up term with little meaning and people are confused about love. Love is the greatest of all human qualities and is an attribute of God Himself. Faith is the foundation and content of God’s message; hope is the attitude and focus; love is action. When your faith and your hope are in line with God’s Will, you are free to love completely because you understand how God loves.
True love is a choice. There are moments in life when we become irritated, impatient, and sometimes want to scream out of frustration. It is then we must choose to love even when we have been hurt by people we love. Be reminded that God grants you patience by putting you in situations that requires your patience. God places an irritant before you so you can choose to love. The circumstances you are given are your opportunity. God is love and the power to love comes from Love Himself. We unleash the Holy Spirit to flow through us to others when we choose to love. It is only through God’s help and guidance that we can make proper choices. And in marriages making the proper choices to love your spouse instead of rejecting them requires the opportunity to do so.
Transcendence is the power to live above the situations and circumstances in which you may find yourself within your marriage. You need to make the most of the opportunities these situations and circumstances provide. In Ephesians, Paul wants the church to live worthily, as God’s children. To live choosing humility and patience and loving each other. By allowing God’s Spirit to do that in your heart, you can live in peace with others. It is God’s love that we embody here on earth so that others can know Him. May we remember in moments of impatience, that love is a choice and we can therefore choose to love for it is God’s Spirit in us who helps us live fruitful lives (Reference Ephesians 4:1-2).
There is nothing that reveals our beliefs and priorities more than what we actually do. If our actions do not match our work, they are like vapor in the wind. In 1st John 3:18, it says, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” If we are inconsistent, our lack of action neutralizes our speaking. We are to do what we say and say what we do. If our words and actions do not work in harmony, both are ineffective. Although we all love to hear someone say they love us, it is not only about saying the word. Love is an action. True love is mainly about doing. When we choose love we are acting in our own best interest. Love is the truest manifestation of who we are. Love is putting faith into action.
True love is patience. Patience is a choice we make to engage in love when circumstances irritate us. Love is kind. We should choose kindness in treating others as we would like to be treated. Read 1st Corinthians Chapter 13. There are times that love may cause pain, but that pain is worth it because love brings meaning to everything we do. Anything we do outside of love does not matter or last. Everything we do when we show love brings lasting benefits. Love is lived out intentionally even in marriages. We cannot exercise true love with an inward focus. When you set aside selfish desires to love others, then you will be most fulfilled. When you interact with your spouse are you seeking their best or are you being intentional about elevating their well-being? Read 1st Corinthians 13:4-13 to see if there are areas in your life where you can show greater love to your spouse or others. To gain profit from loving others, an excellent investment in those relationships is required. The greatest investments are actions of true love. (Reference 1st Corinthians 13:4-7). Love is what ties everything completely together. Love is the answer because God is Love. He is what brings peace and unity. (Reference Colossians 3:12-15).
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County and is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She finds purpose and joy in writing Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs, Memorials, and now expanding to include weekly articles to other churches, as well as writings to include Christian-based articles on Relationships in Marriage; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. From personal experience, I hope to set an example of how to serve a risen Savior and live by the Holy Spirit with joy. My goal is to help people partake of the better option in life to experience the transforming power that is available in Christ Jesus today. You can read more, good, Christian news from Glenda HERE.