Love Is Not . . .

1 Corinthians 13, known as the love chapter describes the characteristics of real love. It plainly tells us what it is and what it does and doesn’t do. It also tells us what it is not.

Love . . . It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 1 Corinthians 13:5

I hate it when someone steps on my toes. It’s even worse when I step on my own toes. Why? Because I am guilty!

Yes, I can get irritable and I can keep the wrong types of records. Am I only speaking to myself or maybe are you included as well?

When that happens, who do we take it out on? It’s usually our loved ones, isn’t it? They are the ones we are the closest to. The ones we’re supposed to love the most.

They are the ones who get the brunt of our, let’s say unlovingness. What reason do we have when we “take it out” on a loved one?

Maybe because we are so close to them and they see all our flaws. We tend to lash out more at them as a defense mechanism.

This chapter doesn’t mention anything about lashing out at anyone for any reason. The fact is, Christianity is built on love because God is love.

Love is not

Ways We Keep Records of Wrongs

Take another look at our scripture for today and please don’t get irritated. The last phrase of that verse says Love keeps no record of being wronged.  We might keep records without realizing it.

How many times have we pointed out someone’s faults by making statements like these? “There she goes again” or “he’s doing it again.” They are subtle ways of keeping records of wrongs.

Also, the two words “always,” and “never,” become two nasty ways of keeping records. Check out this related post.

This chapter didn’t stop with our irritability and record keeping. Look at what else love is not.

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Each of those grows out of pride in our lives. According to Proverbs, God does not like the proud.

The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished. Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:5,18

I mentioned this in the initial paragraph of this post. 1 Corinthians 13 plainly tells us what love is. Also, it says what it does and doesn’t do.

So let’s look at the other things we haven’t talked about yet. It actually tells us more about what love is not than anything else.

More things About What Love Is and Is not

What love doesn’t do;

  • It does not demand its own way.
  • It does not rejoice about injustice.
  • Love never gives up, never loses faith,

What love does;

  • Love is patient and kind,
  • It’s always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.
  • Love rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

I confessed right at the beginning that I can be irritable and I can keep the wrong types of records. I am consciously trying to improve on those flaws. What about you. Are you what love is or what it isn’t?

Jesus built living the Christian life on obeying two commands. Love God and your neighbor. God then inspired the Apostle Paul to define love for us. Look how he ended the chapter.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Those three things will last forever. Since love is the greatest of them, make reflecting His love your top priority.

Lord, you have given us a clear definition of what loving is and what it is not. Forgive us for getting caught up in ourselves. Because of our pride, we make those who are closest to us suffer from our lack of love.

Read the entire 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians.



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