No matter what we do in our Christian lives as we sojourn through crevice and peak, if it’s not done on the ridge of love – it’s nothing more than an hand-hammered cymbal resounding loudly from the clang of a flesh stick. If we do the most amazing acts of service and yet do not have love in our hearts, we are a gong of nothingness being beaten by empty mallets. No acts of charity or mercy or depths of ministry mean a single drop if they are not based in the purity of Christ-like love.
But what does this love look like? Well, we don’t have to go to a wedding to find out; we can turn to the great letter by Paul to the church in southern Greece any time we want to discover again the character of Christian love. Here’s a snapshot.
Love is patient and kind and not jealous.
Love does not brag and is not arrogant.
Love does not act unbecomingly and it does not seek its own benefits.
Love is not provoked and does not take into account a wrong suffered.
Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness but instead it rejoices in truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.
And most of all love never fails.
Based on this definition, I encourage believers to abandon the overused and multi-definitionally dysfunctional word ‘love’ when thinking about the royal law of Christ and in its place use the term “supernaturally loverific“. Love has been clobbered with ambiguous baggage yet “supernaturally loverific” gets us more to the point. It draws us closer to the higher level and call that we’ve been given – to imitate our Savior. When we read this first Corinthians character list it should floor us for it is unimaginably transcendent. Every ounce of this description begs for divine direction. Every particle of this directive shows our holes and cracks. Every part of this call is a pull to a supernatural life that can in no fashion be of this world. We all have the scars and back wounds to prove it.
This is why Christ said that we are to be identified by our love; it is supernaturally given, nurtured, and maintained. It is the encapsulation of the fruit of the Spirit given to us at our new birthday as a free gift from the Godhead. Christ demonstrated what this love looks like while he was here on earth and the Scriptures continue to exhort us towards supernaturally loverific living till the day we pass on to eternity.
The next time you begin to rebuke a friend; remember where your heart should be. The next time you sing a psalm in church; remember the source of all peace. The next time you feed someone who is hungry or discipline your children; remember who laid down his life for you. The next time you do anything; remember love. And not just any type of love, but remember the supernatural affection that should swell within you as a work of Godly renewal in a once-dead existence. Only the elect of God can exhibit such a beautiful life.
May it bathe your words, thoughts, and deeds.