How Can Love Be Always and Never?

We tend to use the words “always” and “never” quite often in conversation. Especially when we are upset with them. “You always treat me this way.” “You never listen to me.” Or “You always cut me off or always say things to put me down.” “You never take me seriously. We seem to be quick to always and never someone in the negative. But never, I mean not so much in the positive. So, let’s look at how love can be always and never.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.1 Corinthians 13:7-8 (NIV)

What Does Agape always do?

If we go back to verse 4 we are told what agape love is. It’s patient, it is kind. That though is only a partial list of what it is. We must go to the book of Galatians to see the rest of the list.

In chapter 5 of Galatians it says, But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love. . .

Then there are 8 other things listed which are describing its attributes. Listen to how The Passion Translation words this verse.

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions

Love is always

And those expressions are; joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This is the complete list.

Now that we know what it is, when we look at our verse for today we see what it does. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Did you notice that love doesn’t do any of those things some of the time? No, it does them all, all of the time! So, the question we must answer is, how can we express it all of the time? We found the answer earlier in Galatians 5, But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives.

God knows that it is impossible for us to express agape on our own. That is why He has given each of us His power through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

What Agape Never Does

Because of our sinful and selfish nature, Paul needed to go into a little more detail on the negative side. Verses 4-6 say

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

Paul gives no reasons “why” with this list. They are things that it just does not do! There is one more at the end of the list and it has a reason attached to it. Love does not delight in evil. The reason why is, but rejoices with the truth.

At the beginning of verse 8, Paul makes an all-inclusive statement. He says, Love never fails. A lot of other things in the world are going to fail, but it never fails.

People will be insensitive at times and make you feel unloved. When that happens, it doesn’t give us the right to be unloving back toward them.

With God’s help, we can walk on both sides of a two-way street. We must always be loving according to the biblical definition.

And we must do our best to never be unloving. We have to always accept when loved. And never have an unloving attitude toward a person, no matter how much they might have hurt you.

Lord, thank you for the love you have given to us. Help us to always shower others with that it and never be impatient or unkind to anyone

In a related post we must also show our love to God called How Have you shown Your Love to God?

You can read 1 Corinthians 13 here

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