Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7, ESV
This is how we are to love. These words are often spoken at weddings, and it is good to love, as Paul describes, within the union of husband and wife. These words are given to the Church. This is the love we are to reflect with brother and sister in Christ. We describe love in this way to all who are in the body of Christ. This is not often how the Church is seen in the world. As it is with the world, often it is with Church. Brothers and sisters in Christ dispute with one another and can be downright vicious in their attacks against those with whom they have disagreements. How often do we find that there are those that demand their own way, and when they do not find agreement, they leave? They don’t just leave quietly, however, but seek to do and say things to justify their anger and to shoot at those they have made their enemies from afar. How many congregations stand divided because of these conflicts? This is not of Christ, and this is not the love which our Lord desires for us to reflect. The love of Christ does not stand quiet when confronted with lies but expresses the truth in love. The love we are to reflect is never meant to bring harm to another who has harmed us but to seek restoration. Love humbles the proud heart, and where wrong is revealed seeks to bring healing. In love, forgiveness is the salve that heals the wounds of harm done and does not hold anger or grudges against another. Resentment is never meant to be held in the heart of a follower of Christ against anyone. When we walk in love, we walk in the knowledge of Christ’s love for each of us and the sacrifice that was made in order that we may know love. In this, we find our peace.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.