If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 13 New Living Translation (NLT)
No pun intended, but I LOVE this passage of Scripture and I love "LOVE"! Why anyone would subject themselves to condemnation for hating someone they do not even like is beyond understanding. God calls us to love because He is Love. Period. We are commanded to love God and our neighbor. For those who question who God is, it is best they get to know Him because He is our Creator who rules over all with sovereign power. Who is our neighbor? Everybody! And "love" is first defined as a verb — an action word.
Some people try to justify not loving others. Jesus was having none of that. He made that command clear by telling us we are to even love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44). Of all we have to give or receive, love is our greatest gift. Because it comes from our hearts that are closely examined by God, it must genuine. We can't fake it because it is an active emotion. Loving means caring. And Love died on a cross for our sins and rose from the grave to give us everlasting love.
When we have a hard time loving someone that may be difficult to love, we must pray for strength and the resolve to love them anyway. That is definitely a prayer God will answer when we ask Him for help obeying this command. If we call Jesus our Savior, responding to our call to love others is the first step in following Him. God loved us first and shows us His love through Christ. Authentically loving others is the only way we can help those who don't know how to love to see what real love looks like, even if they don't want to see it.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
John 13:34-35 NLT