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 8-13
In the last sentence of the Bible's well known "love" chapter, 1 Corinthians 13 is a beautiful profile of love itself: "Love never fails" (v.8, NKJV). Have you ever asked the obvious question--Love never fails what? Here it is in summary: Love never fails to win. Let me point out two ways love can conquer what might be ailing your relationships.
1: Love never fails to conquer selfishness.
I am selfish and so are you. We never have to work at putting ourselves first--we've got that one down. But notice how:
"Love is patient and kind"(v. 4) Selfishness is mean and demanding but love overflows with kindness.
"Love does not envy or boast" (v. 4c). Love is not arrogant because it's not selfish.
"Love is not . . . rude" (v. 5a). Selfishness insists on the spotlight but love is not demanding or unreasonable.
"It does not insist on its own way" (v. 5b), because it's not selfish.
"It is not irritable or resentful" (v. 5c) because it's not selfish.
So love conquers the biggest obstacle in me, selfishness.
2: Love never fails to conquer skepticism.
Over time, it's easy to doubt that anyone is ever going to change. Your family disappoints you and you want to bail but love holds on. Like no one else, our family members can hurt and disappoint us. They do foolish things, and say wicked or hurtful words. In those moments, you want to run. But love does not sell out in the crisis. Love still believes the best; it doesn't keep score. Love trusts again. Love finds a way to give an opportunity for God to work. Love waits for God's agenda to be accomplished in their life. Love is being used by God to transform that person.
When I choose not to love, I'm in God's way but when I choose to love, God's helping me, and I'm part of the solution. In our wounded moments we think, we sometimes forget how desperately we hope others will give us another chance when we fail them.
Love never fails? Yes, love is part of the solution. Love is a tool in God's hands to work through you and transform your relationships.
Read 1 John 3:11-24.
This is taken from James McDonald's weekly devotion.