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by Stan L. Caldwell

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 spells out for us the characteristics of love. When we deal with other people we need to make sure we are dealing with them from the standpoint of genuine love for them. It makes little difference if it is our enemies or our friends with whom we are dealing. Our attitude must be one of love. In your dealings with others think on the following principles and make sure you act accordingly.

1. Love suffereth long. It is long-tempered, longsuffering, not in a hurry, calm, harboring no resentment but self restrained.

2. Love is kind. Even to those who do evil love is kind, good, pleasant, good-natured, gentle, tender, affectionate, gracious, not sour, harsh, morose, ill-natured.

3. Love envieth not. Love is not jealous. Envy is malicious, grudging, berating or maligning the other persons good.

4. Love vaunteth not itself. It does not thrust itself forward, the opposite of envy. It does not boast in a way that wounds others, nor parade its superiority to others. It is not a boaster or braggart.

5. Love is not puffed up. It is not conceited, arrogant, does not indulge in inflated opinions of itself or its own importance. Ben Franklin once said, "To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness".

6. Love does not behave itself unseemly. It is respectful to all, not haughty but kind, gentle, loving in character. Does not fly off the handle. It seeks what is proper or becoming in all circumstances. Not rude toward others.

7. Love seeketh not her own. Love defers to the wishes and rights of others. In honor it prefers others. It looks to the good and happiness of all.

8. Love is not easily provoked. It does not readily take offence but is serious, calm, patient.

9. Love thinketh no evil. Revised version says, "taketh not account of evil". Does not put the worst construction on the acts of others and does not surmise evil. Desires to think the best of others.

10. Love rejoiceth not in iniquity. Cannot find joy in any wrong doing on the part of anyone. Cannot find joy in sin and cannot sympathize with evil.

11. Love rejoiceth in the truth. Love does care about right and the gospel of Christ. Nothing makes it happier than others living according to truth, right and good.

12. Love beareth all things, As 1 Pet. 4:5 says, "Love covereth a multitude of sins." It does not seek to spread evil gossip but seeks to deliver others from evil. It will bear the afflictions or persecutions that come on it.

13. Love believeth all things. It seeks to believe all the good it can as long as it does not betray the truth of God, believing the best it can of all men.

14. Love hopeth all things. It works for all, even the worst, hoping good will come.

15. Love endureth all things. It suffers, bears all evils and is not driven from the course of right. It is steadfast and enduring against all hindrances, persecutions or temptations.

It is possible for the Christian to turn from these things in his dealings with others and become the very opposite. In so doing rather than helping others and the cause of Christ, he will hurt others and himself.

It would do you good to hold on to this article and keep this passage in mind and think of the meaning of LOVE often, that your actions, words and thoughts might be channeled into the direction they should go.

When a congregation is filled with love they can indeed edify one another and save the souls of their brothers and sisters in Christ. It is to this end that we must dedicate ourselves.

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