Four Characteristics Of Love     

I Corinthians 13:5


     The prodigal son had a proud brother, who was a self-righteous moralist. He never did the evil things the prodigal did. He carefully maintained the appearance of fidelity to his father. But his religion and morality was only a covering to hide the wickedness of his heart. When the prodigal was recovered, his brother's wickedness came to light. He saw all that was being done for the prodigal upon his return to the father's house and got so mad he would not go in himself. He said, to his father,"Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at anytime thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends" (Lk. 15:29).

     What a pitiful sight! Here is a grown man acting like a spoiled two year old! He was saying, "I feel slighted and neglected, and I deserve better." All that he said and did revealed nothing but pride and love of self. He had no love for his father or his brother. He loved himself, and no one else.

     How many there are like this man today. They never visit the sick. But if they get sick, they expect the world to stop spinning so that everyone will come to them. They never show care for anyone else. But if someone fails to show care for them they are offended. They never have a kind word for anyone. But if someone neglects to say "good day" to them they feel abused.

     God's people do not behave so! God's saints do not seek for others to serve them, they seek to serve. In lowliness of mind they esteem each one better than themselves and look not on their own needs but on the needs of others (Phil. 2:3-4). Grace makes people loving. And love is disinterested in self. Love always has these four characteristics:

1. "LOVE DOTH NOT BEHAVE ITSELF UNSEEMLY." Love is never scornful,arrogant and uncaring.It does not ignore its object. 2."LOVE SEEKETH NOT HER OWN." Love does not seek personal recognition, honor or favor. It seeks to heap these things upon others. 3. "LOVE IS NOT EASILY PROVOKED." Love puts things in the best light possible. It is not easily offended. 4. "LOVE THINKETH NO EVIL." Love does not think evil of its object.It is not suspi- cious. Even when evil is done, love presumes that none was intended. In a word, love seeks not to be loved, but to love. May God teach us so to love one another.


Don Fortner