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Life is all about loving
Life is all about loving. How come? Because loving is the Kingdom of God, for God is love. All of us look for the Kingdom of God here and now. We can have it if we love. Truly love.
Marriage is one area where we can make it into a Kingdom of God or a hell of a place here and now. It all depends on whether we have learned to love or not. There will always be disagreement and conflict in the home. Have we learned to rise above them and continue to grow in love?
To be good at anything we have to spend time and effort studying and practising. To be loving we need to know what is love. We should not confuse love with the Hollywood-type-of movie love. What then is love? True love at its very basic is:
Patient Do I accommodate his/her views, his idiosyncrasies and his ways of doing things?
Can I overlook his shortcomings or faults?
Will I be able to bear the blame and accusation?
Can I accept him as he is?
Kind Do I have a kind heart towards him/her?
Do I strive to make him happy?
Do I uplift his spirit when he is anxious or depressed?
Am I tender hearted towards him?
Forgiving Mother Teresa says, “We must make our homes centers of compassion and forgive endlessly.” (“A Gift for God”, 18)
Do I try to forgive endlessly at home?
Do I harbor grudges over a long period of time?
Do I hold on to resentment?
Do I keep a record of wrongs he has done to be used against him?
Do I try to forgive and forget?
Self-giving Do I make self-sacrifice for him/her?
Am I generous towards him?
Can I give in to the relatively unimportant comments and arguments?
Do I give up my preferences, goals, comfort, time and energy for him?
Encouraging Am I always encouraging or am I critical towards him/her?
Do I affirm him?
Am I his cheer leader?
Do I see his potential or do I see him as he is?
Do I constantly find ways to praise him?
Have we spent the time to cultivate and nurture these qualities or are we so engrossed with making a living that we don’t bother about such things? How then can we be good at loving?
Ultimately relationship, not what we achieved or acquired, is what matters most in life. So why do we allow our relationships to get the short end of the stick? When our schedules become overloaded, we start skimming---cutting back on giving the time, energy, and attention that loving relationships require. What’s most important to us is replaced by what is most urgent.
When life on earth is ending, we don’t surround ourselves with objects. What we want around us is people---people we love and have relationships with.
In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about. Learning this truth sooner rather than later is wisdom. Why then wait until we are on our deathbed to figure out that nothing matters more than a loving relationship?
The passages below are summarized from the book, “Our Lady says: Love People” by Rev. Albert Joseph Mary Shamon.
St Paul uses:
two words to describe what love is;
eight words to describe what love is not; and
four words to describe what love does all the time.
“Love is patient; love is kind.
Love is not pompous, it is not inflated. It is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Christian love is not an emotion, but is an act of the mind and the will. It is to love as God loves--—UNCONDITIONALLY--—and so to love the loveless and the unlovable.
II. WHAT LOVE IS
1. makrothumE (Greek) = (passive) means to be longsuffering toward one, patient. It is directed to persons, not circumstances; it means bearing the shortcoming of others.
· Love is patient.
· Love is patient with people.
· Patience means accepting, bearing, enduring, suffering the slights, shortcoming, tantrums, injuries and hurts inflicted by people---suffering them for the love of God.
· True Christian patience is putting up with people just as God puts up with us.
· True Christian patience is an expression of our love of God put into practice, here and now.
2. chrestEUetai = (active) means to behave kindly, be kind or merciful,
III. WHAT LOVE IS NOT
1. zelOl means to strive after, to have zeal for one’s own status,
· Love envies no one.
· Love knows no envy.
· Love is not jealous of people.
· Envy or jealousy is a vice nobody likes; it is so unlovable that when a person has it, he tries to conceal it.
· Envy is sorrow about people’s good fortune. Instead of rejoicing at someone’s good fortune, envy weeps.
· Envy destroys our peace of mind and it makes us positively miserable.
· To detect envy or jealousy, just ask ourselves these questions:
Are we chronic critics?
Are we always sarcastic?
Do we gossip?
Do we talk disparagingly about someone’s accomplishment?
Do we belittle what means a lot to another?
Do we assassinate people’s character?
Do we give the silent treatment to our spouse whenever we are unhappy with our spouse’s ways?
2. perperEUetai means to boast or vaunt oneself, to be a braggart.
· Love is not pompous.
· Love is never boastful.
· Love does not brag.
· Love is no braggart.
· A braggart does not feel superior to others but he boasts that he is.
· Boasting can be hurtful and unkind since it diminishes others.
3. phusiOUtai means to puff up, make proud.
· Love is not inflated.
· Love is not conceited.
· Love is not inflated with its own importance.
· Love is not puffed up with pride.
· Pride resides in the heart.
· Pride is inflated egoism.
· Pride is extreme self love.
· Pride smacks of idolatry, for it idolizes self.
· A proud person brooks no criticism, true or untrue.
· Hell has no fury like a proud person scorned.
4. aschemonE means to behave unseemly.
· Love is not rude.
· Love does not behave gracelessly.
· Love does not behave unpresentably.
· Love is not arrogant or rude.
· A rude person does not treat a person as a human being but as a means to his own ends.
· A courteous person realizes the dignity of the human being and he simply treats each person as a person, as a child of God.
· Rudeness comes from insecurity or weakness, from selfishness or self-centeredness, from lack of training at home or in school.
· Being nice, kind, courteous, polite, good natured, considerate or thoughtful, especially to the weak and helpless, is a cultivated virtue.
5. zetEl means to seek for, seek after.
· Love does not seek its own interests.
· Love is never selfish.
· Love does not insist on its rights.
· Love does not seek its own advantages.
· Love does not insist on its own way.
· A self-seeker may want to serve God, but in his own way, not God’s way.
· A self-seeker pursues the adulation, praise and approbation of others.
· Signs that tell us whether or not we are self-seeking:
Is God foremost in our thoughts?
Do we try to avoid what is displeasing to God?
Do we accept without complaint all that God sends us?
Do we give free rein to our desires and wants?
Do we let them run wild like an unbridled colt?
Do we discipline them, tame them and put a check on them?
6. paroxUnetai means to provide, irritate, excite.
· Love is not quick-tempered.
· Love is not quick to take offence.
· Love never flies in a temper.
· Love is not easily irritated.
· Love is not resentful.
· A quick tempered person is one who is easily provoked to anger, one who has a short fuse.
· Hasty temper, impatient rebukes, sullen looks, harsh words, they never do any good!
· It took St Francis de Sales years to learn that the best answer to temper is silence.
· When Julius Caesar was provoked, he would repeat the entire Roman alphabet before he would speak as he has found that “the greatest remedy for anger is delay.”
· A quick tempered person can be:
Testy—--flaring up at the least annoyance.
Touchy---reacting vehemently when certain subjects are broached.
Irrational---just flying into a rage or fury without reason.
7. loglzetai means to reckon, calculate, compute.
· Love does not brood over injuries.
· Love keeps no score of wrongs.
· Love does not store up the memory of any wrong it has received.
· Love does not calculate evil.
· Love does not record in memory every hurt to repay it later.
· It is foolish to carry hurts like gunnysack on our backs all through life.
8. adikla means a wrong, an offence, injustice and alethEla means truth.
· Love does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.
· Love does not gloat over other men’s sins.
· Love finds no pleasure in evil-doing.
· Love does not rejoice in injustice.
· There are human vultures who gloat over other’s shortcoming, who rejoice over the failures of others, who glorify the vices of lust and immorality.
IV. WHAT LOVE DOES ALL THE TIME
1. stEgei means to cover closely, to fend off, keep off.
· Love bears all things.
· There is nothing love cannot face.
· Love can endure anything.
· Love keeps all confidences.
· Love tries to cover up for people.
· Love puts up with a lot from people just as God does with us.
· Love bears hurt in silence and conceals injuries as much as possible.
· There is no limit to love’s forbearance.
2. pistEUei means to believe, trust in, put faith in, confide in, rely on a person.
· Love believes all things.
· Love is completely trusting.
· Love has unshakeable faith in people’s goodness.
· Love believes in people all the time. People are always asking us to believe in them and to trust them.
3. elplzei means to hope, expect.
· Love hopes all things.
· Love never ceases to hope.
· Love always hopes for the best for people.
· Love does not give up on people, or give in to evil no matter how great, just as Jesus never gave up on people.
4. hupomEnei means to abide patiently, endure, stand one’s ground, stand firm, uphold, support, maintain.
· Love endures all things.
· Love bears everything with triumphant fortitude.
· Love is never dismayed by people, no matter what.
· Love puts up with people always, even to the very end of their lives, despite all their aberrations and vagaries.
V. JESUS’ EXAMPLES
Jesus shows us by His own examples what Love is and entreats us, “Come and follow Me.”
Jesus is patient and kind.
Jesus is never jealous, pompous, inflated, or rude. He never seeks His own interests. He is never quick tempered. He never broods over injuries done to Him. Jesus never rejoices over wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
Jesus never gives up on us, believes in the best in us all the time, hopes for the best for us continually and endures all our shortcomings, confident that to those who love God all things will work together unto good in the end.
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From other Bible Version of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is always patient and kind;
1ove is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.
It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 NJB)
“Love is patient and kind;
it is not jealous or conceited or proud; Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.
Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 TEV)
“Love suffers long and is kind;
love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 NKJV)
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 KJV)
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 NIV)
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