1 Corinthians 13, not only describes how we should love one another, it describes how God loves us. Let me substitute the word love for God (God is love). God is long-suffering; God is kind; God does not envy; God does not parade Himself; God is not puffed up; God is not rude, God doesn’t boast; God is not easily angered; God keeps no record of wrongs; God does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes the best for you, always preserves. God’s love never fails.
1 John 4:8 – He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Do you ever wonder why some people, even Christians, are not very nice to others? It’s because they have never realized how much God loves them.
Look at these scriptures: John 13:34 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
Romans 15:7 – Therefore receive one another, just as Christ received us, to the glory of God.
Ephesians 4:32 – and be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
If people only think God loves them when they’re doing good, then how do you think they will treat others around them? I think we need to be reminded just how much God has forgiven us for. Our concept of God’s love and grace is an issue that will affect every area of our lives, especially our relationships with others.
Someone who is “Religious” and are used to hearing “Beat me up sermons,” are some of the most hateful people I’ve ever met. Do you know why? Because in their mind if you do good, you get good, if you do bad, you get bad. They think God is the same way. But, if we begin to love others the way Christ loves us, we not only forgive others much more easily, we begin to see ourselves transforming into what Christ’ intention for our lives was all along.
By the Holy Spirit’s power, He will enable us to comprehend this great love of God. Most think the power from the Holy Spirit enables us to accomplish things “to do.” Paul implies we need power to : Ephesians 3:17-19; (17) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height (19) to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
So, why do we need this power, again? To understand the love of Christ. Knowing the love of Christ will surpass knowledge and we will be filled to the fullness of God!
To be filled with the Spirit is to be totally filled with the knowledge of God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ! I know this is a little deep for some of my casual readers, but it needs to be told how much you are loved. When a Christian is filled with the Spirit of God, it means we are under the influence of Him.
If we allow ourselves to be angry, bitterness and unforgiveness will control you. However, if we are filled with the knowledge of God’s love and grace, what takes control? God’s love! When we realized how much God loves us, that can’t help but spill over into other people’s lives.
The problem is, the flesh will still rise up to be critical, judgmental, and unforgiving. This is a battle between the flesh and spirit almost daily, but we can control it by what we set our minds on. We learn to be more sensitive to what the Spirit is saying rather than what our emotions scream out.
Part of being self-controlled is not replying to someone who just wants to argue to prove they are right about something. Don’t misunderstand, some things have to be confronted or they will continue. It’s how we do it that’s important. We can’t control or change anyone’s behavior for them. Sometimes the nicer you are to someone, the more advantage of you they will take. When that has occurred in my life, I walk away and have no more dealing with them. I can’t make anyone treat me nice. I can only control how I respond to them.
Always remember how much you have been forgiven for and it will make a huge difference of how you treat others.
Jesus went around doing good, not all but some turned on Him, and He forgave them anyway. You can’t have favor with them all, but that’s why we still sow the seeds of love and see what sprouts up.