“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; loves does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Does not behave rudely, does not seek its own…” (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
I have heard people say, “I don’t get mad, I get even!” When God’s love is being expressed through us, we don’t get mad or even. The Greek words for “love suffers long” are often translated as patience, but they actually prescribe a merciful, unconditional love – a love that does not avenge itself, even when it has the right and opportunity to do so.
As we examine “love is kind,” we realize this love refuses to play the game of getting even. The Greek word for kindness means “love is easy – easy to approach, easy to live with, sweet, good and does good things.” Then we read: “Love does not envy.” The Greek words Paul used here prescribe “an unselfish and unconditional commitment to another’s well-being.” In other words: sanctified unselfishness.
The one who is applying this love is not only concerned about the welfare of the one they love, but they have made a deliberate and unconditional commitment to their happiness.
Their love commitment is not “I love me and I need you,” or “You love me and so do I.” They are saying by their love actions, “I am fiercely committed to your well-being and happiness. My love for you is not based on, controlled, or even influenced by the ways you do, or do not, love me.” Think of how this quality of love is needed when a spouse has Alzheimer’s disease, a stroke, accident or illness that seriously limits them…
The one who is a conduit of this love is others-centered, not self-centered.
Dick Woodward, from A Prescription for Love
Thanks so much for keeping these devotionals coming. I’ve been reading for many years and rarely comment or reply. (Your dad) was very much a tremendous inspiration to my best friend and of course for me as well. It was 1972 when he led Bud Frye to a saving Grace in Jesus. Bud owned Wards Corner Motors and was in a motorcycle wreck and was in a coma while your dad visited every day. Long story. I can share more some time. You may have heard it. After Bud woke it was then that “Pastor Dick just happened to be coming in the room”… “who was that man that has been praying for me”… here he is now… Paralyzed from the diaphragm down and in a wheel chair… he spent many days witnessing to hospital and prison ministry… being pushed around in his chair. (Tears) Pastor Dois told me he knew him as well. (Old car dealers)lol… I guess I need to write a book. People often exclaim that. Thanks again for your unselfishness. In His Grip. Jack Neild. Virginia Beach
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Thank you, Jack, for your comment and memories of Papa! How we miss him!!