Love is an action. It’s proactive behavior toward others that honors them and benefits their lives. But I as I read Paul’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, I believe love is more than an action. Look at how he describes love, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it’s not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
When you look at the verbs Paul gives in this passage you quickly see that love is more than an action, it’s also a reaction. For example when Paul says…
- “Love does not envy” – that’s loves reaction when someone has something you want.
- “Love does not boast” – that’s loves reaction when you just accomplished something you feel good about.
- “Love does not dishonor others” – that’s loves reaction when you’re in relationship with someone you do not respect.
- “Love is not easily angered” – that’s loves reaction when “someone presses your buttons”.
- “Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs” – that’s loves reaction when someone has treated you unfairly.
- “Love perseveres” – is loves reaction when someone continually lets you down.
These aren’t proactive actions we take, they’re reactions to someone else’s behavior. Acting in love is easier than reacting in love. Reacting in love requires discipline, self-sacrifice, humility and selflessness.
As you go through your day keep in mind that love is a reaction…then observe how you react to your wife, kids, co-workers in various situations throughout the day. Are you reacting in love?