A phrase I use often in conversations is: That doesn’t pass the 1 Corinthians 13 test. Love wants, compels, and requires us to work. What we want with the concept of love is a Hallmark moment. Love does not work that way. If we want love to win, we need to pass the test. But, before we can pass that test, we need to admit this truth: We don’t want to. People want the value and benefits of love, but they do not want to love. Are you passing the test? Here we go:
Can you put up with a person? Can you tolerate them, even when they’re not in the right?
Are you gracious? Do you demonstrate manners?
Do you covet your neighbors wife, car, or paycheck? Do you grumble when another is celebrated, or are you genuinely happy for them?
Does not brag
Does life have to be about you, or are you interested in celebrating others? Who are you cheerleading?
How teachable are you? Do you admit when you are wrong?
Does not act unbecomingly
Are you authentic, or are you flattering? Are you being genuine, or putting on a show?
It does not seek its own
Do you have the mind of Christ, or are you about yourself? How are you helping other people be their best selves… even when you’re in a disagreement with them?
Do you have a short fuse, or do you seek understand first? Do you have thick skin, or are you easily offended?
Does not take into account a wrong suffered
Do you stick with today’s news, or do you bring up the past? Do you operate out of bitterness, or do you seek forgiveness?
Does not rejoice in unrighteousness
What makes you laugh? Do you pray for your enemy, or seek his destruction?
Rejoices with the truth
Are you thrilled when things go right? Does justice thrill you?
Bears all things
Are you always mad? Do you fight for the relationship, or to make a point?
Believes all things
Do you believe people can change for the better? Do you believe God can use them?
Hopes all things
Do you assume the best or the worse? Do you work to understand the best, or quick to tear down?
Endures all things
Are you willing to have the hard conversations, or do you push away? Do you ‘love’ with expectation of return, or because it s the right thing to do?
Paul says that love is the most excellent way. The most excellent way takes work. It is a choice that we make. Love is not one of these but the totality of these. We talk the love game, but we do not often follow through with actually being loving. EVERYONE can improve in these areas.
Love endures beyond the end. This is why Jesus chose the love route.