What Kind of Love Are You Talking About?

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When you make the health, happiness, and growth of others a priority, you’re following the example of the God of love.

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13

There are three things that will endure-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Turn on the radio or TV at any time. You can’t get way from love. It’s sung about on music stations, dramatized—often melodramatized—in soap operas, humorized in sitcoms, and mocked in trash-talk shows. Here’s what you hear:

  • “Love can’t be wrong if it feels so right.”
  • “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”
  • “I love what you do for me.”
  • “If you really love me, show me.”

If love means making the health, happiness, and growth of another person as important as your own, here are some examples of what this might look like:

  • If it’s reasonable for your sister to baby-sit your little cousin while you go to a party, love requires that you do the same for her sometime.
  • If you expect your teachers to treat you with respect, love requires that you treat them with respect and not bad-mouth them to other students.
  • If you think your youth leader should be more attentive to your spiritual needs, love requires that you do your part to meet his or her needs-starting by praying for him or her consistently.

The loving thing to do in most situations isn’t hard to figure out. Just put your­self in the shoes of the people involved and ask, “What’s the best I could wish for in were in that spot?” When you figure out the answer, love requires you to do the best that you have the opportunity and ability to do.

When you make the health, happiness, and growth of others a priority, you’re following the example of the God of love. God wills only the best for every person. You see it in how he has treated the world.

First, he created you in his image and likeness (see Genesis 1:27). What better model of kindness could you ask for than to be formed in God’s image?

Second, God wills your best by using his loving power to keep this planet going. Paul wrote, “Everything has been created through him and for him. He … holds all creation together” (Colossians 1: 16-17).

Third, God proved that he wills the best for you—even at your sinful worst—by redeeming you at great cost. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, he did so for all people (see 2 Corinthians 5:15), even those who never respond to his love.

REFLECT: Since you are to make the health, happiness, and growth of others a priority in your own life, how does being loved by God help you do this?

PRAY: Father, give me a love for others like the love you have for me.

 

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