What Love Does
This week I enjoyed a Skype visit with our sweet grandson, Benji. When Benji is around, even on Skype, there is generally much fun and laughter. This call was no exception. We laughed as we watched his silly antics and listened to the endearing way he calls “P’Paw!” But the highlight of our Skype visit was a lively game of peek-a-boo.
My husband, daughter, and I were seated at the dining room table with the laptop on the table. While I don’t remember exactly how the game began, eventually Benji would point to one of us and say our name. At his command, that person would slide to the side – or in my case since I was in the middle I had to bend forward – out of the range of the camera. Then everyone would ask: “Where’s P’Paw? (or GaGa or Stacy). That person would then move back into the camera’s range and proclaim: “Here I am!” Every single time, Benji would jump and then we’d all laugh. His enjoyment and laughter were contagious. Soon we were all laughing like a group of little kids. At one point, I remarked: “It’s funny what a two-year-old (he’s almost two) can get you to do!”
But isn’t that what love does? Doesn’t love earnestly care about and seek to satisfy the desires or needs of another? In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes both some of the things that love does and some of the things that love does not do. What does love do?
- Love suffers long and is kind (v.4).
- Love thinks no evil (v.5).
- Love rejoices in the truth (v.6).
- Love bears all things (v.7).
- Love believes all things (v.7).
- Love hopes all things (v.7).
- Love endures all things (v.7).
- Love never fails. (8).
What does love not do?
- Love does not envy (v.4).
- Love does not parade itself (v.4).
- Love does not behave rudely (v.5).
- Love does not seek its own (v.5).
- Love is not provoked (v.5).
- Love does not rejoice in iniquity (v.6).
The love described in these verses puts up with stuff, but stays kind. It tries to think the best of others, consistently giving others the benefit of the doubt instead of being easily provoked. This love doesn’t envy others or try to rise above others. Neither does it try to put down or run over others. This love is constantly seeking the best in and for others.
Oh, how I wish I could always love like that. Playing peek-a-boo with my grandson is an easy-to-do kind of love, but sometimes love is hard. How can we love when we are mistreated, hurt, laughed at, taunted, bullied, put down, or simply ignored? How do we love when love is hard?
We need look no further for our answer than to the example set by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth;’ who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
(1 Peter 2:21-24)
That’s what true, honest, genuine love does! Jesus was scourged, stricken, taunted, mocked, and ridiculed. He suffered a cruel and agonizing death on a cross. Yet His cry from the cross was: “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus surrendered His “rights” and committed Himself to His Father, willingly giving Himself to forgive you and me and to heal us.
Love has a purpose. True, sacrificing love points others to the One who came to save, redeem, and heal. My feelings, thoughts, and attitudes really matter very little when it comes to someone coming to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. No, it may not always be easy, but the more I love Christ, walk with Him and keep His Word, Christ will make His home with me (see John 14:23-24). And as He lives in me, He can help me to love more and more like Him as His love flows through me to touch others. He can do the same for you, too. And just perhaps the joy we feel will resemble that lively peek-a-boo game that we played with Benji! That’s what love does!
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”