Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up… (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Love acts in the best interests of others instead of itself. William Barclay described agape (the Greek word translated by our English word, “love”) as “unconquerable benevolence; undefeatable goodwill”. Love refuses to be overwhelmed by the ill will and mistreatment it receives at the hands of others. Love will continue to be patient and kind. Love does not hastily retaliate when sinned against. Nor does love set itself up for display; it is humble, not boastful or arrogant. These traits of love are among the very nature of God, for “God is love” (1 Jno. 4:8, 16). Here is love’s challenge: How can we say we love God whom we have not seen when we do not love our brother whom we have seen (1 Jno. 4:20)? We cannot, and to do so shows us to be liars. Are you being patient and kind to your brother or sister, your father or mother, your spouse or child? Love does not give tit for tat. Love does not do to others what they do to you. Love does to others what you want them to do to you (Matt. 7:12). “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also” (1 Jno. 4:21).