6. Love does not dishonor
"Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." Proverbs 27:5-6, NIV.
God says that love is honorable, it does not dishonor. What is honor? Honor is respect, integrity, honesty, morality. It is doing right and speaking the truth in love. To honor your mother and father means to obey them, to respect them, to live morally for them. When we honor others, we are glorifying God, our Father. We are bringing peace and unity to the relationship, and maintaining trust through being honest. Make sure what you say is what you do and make sure to speak the truth in love. As this verse states, "wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses", confront sin but first make sure you have repented of your sin, then make sure you speak with love. This strengthens the relationship and grows righteousness. Don't be two-faced, be honest, be moral, live with integrity, respect, and truth.
7. Love is not self-seeking
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31, NIV.
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13, NIV.
Love is serving others, doing well for others, thinking about other's needs, caring for others. It is not selfish but is selfless, less of self and more of others. When you focus on the needs of others, physical and spiritual, you are demonstrating God's love. God loves us, He died for us. He did not need us or have to send His only Son for our redemption. Because of God's selfless love, perfect love, He chooses us time and time again even after all of the rejection and hurt. Are you serving your fellow sisters and brothers in Christ with a self-less love? Are you demonstration God's love to those who don't know Him?
8. Love is not easily angered
"Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs." Proverbs 10:12, NIV.
Anger is a fire that burns inside your heart. If not kindled or put out, like wildfires, it will consume you and destroy everything in its path, including your character. Love is not easily angered, it patiently loves and stands firm on the truth. Correct anger deals with the anger over sin. Becoming angry for what sin is doing to us and how it hurts our Lord and Savior. But other than godly anger, we should keep calm and remember that God is in control. It is in God's hands and He is the judge to rule as He pleases, we should pray, and trust God, leaving the person or situation in His care.
9. Love does not keep a record of wrongdoings
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8, NIV.
We are told to love at all times, love includes forgiving. We grow from hardships and struggles, we learn from mistakes and past failures. This is part of maturing and becoming more like Jesus. Just as you have to burn away the bad parts of metal to get the good parts, or cut off the dead/rotten parts of a plant so it will bloom and be healthier, we too have to go through difficult situations to make us better. Any relationship will have its good moments and its bad moments, that is because we are sinful beings living in a cursed world. We are imperfect, therefore disagreements, arguments, and hurt are all a part of each of our lives. However, through forgiveness and love, these relationships grow, and we become closer and stronger than before. Let hardships and hurt grow you, mold you into a better person, and make you a blessing, instead of becoming bitter, angry, and hardhearted.
10. Love does not delight in evil
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:9-10, NIV.
Are our hearts grieved when others are falling into the pit of sin? Are we saddened by others hurts? Do our hearts break when disaster strikes? We are to hate what is evil, love what is good, help, heal, comfort, and encourage each other. In what ways are we proving to others that we truly care about them and demonstrating true love to them? Just as God is angry over sin and the destruction it causes, we should be greatly troubled and grieved by evil.
Let's pray this week for God to soften our hearts, open our spiritual eyes to see others as God sees us, to love others as God loves us, and to rejoice in righteousness. Praise Him for all blessings, seek Him in all storms, and obey Him in all aspects. Pray for God to help us repent of our sins, to grow closer to Him and each other, for a revival in this nation and in our churches. Pray for us to grieve over sin and evil, to live for Him, and bring glory and honor to Him each and every day! Then act upon these and start living the life God has called us to live. Actions speak louder than words, seek His help and guidance then go out and show the world. May others see Jesus in us, may we be the salt and light in this world.