Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening] (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 AMP).
So, all February we’ve declared war against lust in church and there was something the Elder that preached on Sunday said that caught my attention. He said “Lust has the feeling of love, lust has the emotions of love but lust does not have the character of love”.
Hmmm… so what is the character of love, well our feature text tells us… Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end (The Message).
Using Amnon as an example (2 Samuel 13:1-19), he was so consumed by lust hence the reason he could rape Tamar, his half-sister and not care about her feelings despite all her pleading but that’s because lust cares more for self than others… Lust wants what it doesn’t have… lust forces itself on others. Amnon had the feeling of love, had the emotions of love but did not have the character of love. What about David, his father? Same thing. He could care less that he destroyed a loyal servant’s household and even killed him in the process (2 Samuel 11)
Beloved, perhaps you are saying that this is not for me. I am not consumed by lust but on this special valentine’s day, it would be an opportunity to evaluate your relationships. Does it lack the character of love? Perhaps you want to sit with your other half and discuss the character of love listed in our feature text so you can decide how you can love better and then allow the Holy spirit go to work in you.
Happy Valentine’s Day