But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love (I Corinthians 13:13 NASB).
Have you ever heard of a course in a Bible school or seminary called “Love 101”? There is a reason you don’t have such courses; you don’t learn how to love in a classroom. Yes, intellectually, you understand what love looks like, but if something does not bring a change in behavior, have we really learned it? I would like to suggest to you that we do take a course where we learn to love. The course is called life. What is included in the curriculum of this field of studies? Some of the classes might be called, patience, unselfishness, and humility.
Patience is taught when God brings a person into your life who insults you but you continue to love and you wait a long time to see any change. We are instructed in unselfishness when opportunities for self-advancement of career or ministry arise and we chose instead to prefer and defer to others. Love never seeks it own at the expense of others. As Matthew Henry says, “love is the complete enemy of selfishness. The heart that is set on doing good to everyone can never seek to harm anyone.” Humility is added to our repertoire of loving virtues when people seem to delight in exposing our faults and sins publically and we seek to cover theirs. Love not only refuses to retaliate but also responds in the opposite spirit. Meekness fosters a deep respect for our brothers and sisters and limits our own boastful self-esteem.
How are you doing in Love 101? If you are like me, I have to say not so good sometimes. It is two steps forward and one step backwards. But take courage brethren, though at times we limp along, if you are moving forward you are pleasing God. We are a work in progress and in this world we never arrive. When we see Him our love will be without flaw. As the commentator once wrote about seeing Him face to face; “love is there at its greatest height, there, and only there, will it be perfected”.
Pray with me. Father, teach me how to love as You love.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing