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The True Meaning of Love

Love is often portrayed in media and culture as just a feeling - the butterflies in your stomach when you're with someone you're attracted to. But the Bible presents a very different picture of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Here, love is described not as an emotion but an action.

In this passage, Paul gives us an extensive description of what true, Godly love looks like in practice. And he makes it clear that love is patient, kind, not envious or boastful. It does not dishonor others or seek its own interests. Love protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.

As we examine each phrase, we see that love is selfless and focused on building others up. For example, when Paul says love is kind, the Greek word used is "chrestos" which means to be useful and help others. It's not just about being nice with our words, but serving others through action.

True love also does not keep record of wrongs. This doesn't mean ignoring sins or not confronting issues. Jesus himself confronted people in sin. But it means not harboring bitterness or holding onto hurts to later use against someone. Love moves past wrongs through repentance and forgiveness.

Paul makes clear that Godly love believes, hopes and endures all things. This kind of steadfast love reflects God's unwavering love for us. And the greatest characteristic of love that Paul mentions is that it never fails. When we walk in the love described in this passage, our efforts and relationships will bear fruit.

My prayer is that we as Christians would meditate on 1 Corinthians 13, asking God to grow His love in our hearts and transform us to love others as He has loved us. It is only through His power that we can demonstrate patience, kindness, forgiveness and perseverance. May we reflect the true meaning of love to the world around us.

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