The True Love Test is very simple and very profound. All you have to do is take the things
1 Corinthians tells us about love, and insert your name. Then ask yourself, is this true of me?
In premarital counseling, it goes further – you insert your fiance’s name, as well, questioning
if he or she is exhibiting that brand of love toward you, as well.
Here’s what mine would look like:
When I personalize scripture, it makes it much more real, direct, and applicable to my life.
It’s one thing to read about what agape (sacrificial) love looks like; it’s another thing to hold yourself to the standard. As I read through the passage inserting my name, it’s easy to see where I fail and where I need to make adjustments in the way I love the people God has
placed in my life.
This past week in youth group, we discussed the importance of love for a Christian, and how, without love, we are annoying, frustrating, and harsh to those around us (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). With love, the truth that we share with others, whether in the form of soft encouragement or
a more direct challenge, brings hope and life. Without love, that same truth condemns, crushes, and destroys. But what does love with truth look like? How do we live it out? The answer is in the next part of the passage – verses 4-6. That’s where we take the true love test.
Are you loving your spouse, or condemning him?
Take the test.
Are you speaking in love to your lost coworkers, or are you being harsh and judgmental?
Take the test.
Are you showing love to your friend who’s struggling, or are you inpatient and frustrated?
Take the test.
Love is a wonderful thing. But it’s more than just an emotion; it’s a commitment and it’s revealed in the every day choices we make about how we will choose to respond and act towards those God has placed in our lives.
Love in real life is hard.
When a coworker makes a passive-aggressive comment toward you, it’s hard to remember
that love is patient.
When your husband signs you both up for something at church without discussing it with you, it’s hard to remember that love is not easily angered.
When the person you’ve been mentoring fails once again, it’s hard to remember that love perseveres.
But that’s what grace is for.
Grace. The power God gives to do what God says.
The only way that we can truly love in real life is to live in the overflow of God’s love in our own lives. When we are secure in his love for us, it enables us to love others in a sacrificial way. When we are confident of God’s love for us, we don’t need to demand it from others. And when we truly believe God’s love is real, personal, and constant, then we have the faith to be obedient to his command to love others; and that’s when we receive the power, the follow-through,
to do it: grace.
And then we discover the true beauty of love.
When we love, conflict becomes an opportunity for growth.
When we love, we find peace, even if others are failing us.
When we love, we find hope, because we’re choosing to believe the best about others.
When we love, our relationships drastically improve.
Because when we love, we’re giving. And giving is not about us.
Real love in real life is being a giver, out of the overflow of God’s great gift to us.
Because God is patient.
God is kind.
God does not envy.
God does not boast.
God is not proud.
God does not dishonor others.
God is not self-seeking.
God is not easily angered.
God keeps no record of wrongs.
God does not delight in evil.
God rejoices with the truth.
God always protects.
God always trusts.
God always hopes.
God always perseveres.
Aren’t you thankful for God’s persevering love in your life? Let’s show our gratitude by loving those He’s placed around us right here and now, regardless of if they deserve it, regardless of whether it’s easy, regardless of whether we’re thanked. Let’s love like He loved.
In a word: passionate.