Love in the Midst of Crises

MEMORY SELECTION: “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” —Luke 6:27,28


THE Apostle Paul, in I Corinthians the 13th chapter, defines love by giving examples of love in action. “Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy. Love is not boastful; is not puffed up; acts not unbecomingly, seeks not that which is not her own; is not provoked to anger; does not impute evil; rejoices not with iniquity, but rejoices with the truth; covers all things; believes all things; hopes for all things; endures all things. Love fails not at any time.”—vss. 4-8, Diaglott

Love has been described as being like the light from the sun. When the rays of the sun are passed through a prism of glass they are broken up into the colors of the rainbow. When love motivates the actions of a Christian it will be manifested by all those qualities of which love is composed. This is brought out by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 13:4-7. It reads, in essence, that love is patient, kind, not envious, not proud, courteous, etc.

When we reach the point of our development in love where we can from the heart say that we love our enemies, we are manifesting godlike love toward our fellow creatures. This highest form of love is able to separate the sin from the sinner. And while God hates the sin, he loves the sinner, because he can see in him the potential of perfection when blessed by the favorable conditions that will exist in the kingdom, when the author of sin, Satan, will be no more. So it should be with us. The Scriptures tell us that God is love. “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”—I John 4:16

The thought that God is love implies that all of his acts are beneficent in purpose. Even the permission of evil has as its ultimate purpose granting to mankind the ability to choose the good rather than evil in the kingdom. After having experienced both good and evil, those who still prefer the evil ways of Satan will be destroyed from among the people. To these God manifests his love in that he removes them from an environment of righteousness wherein they would be most unhappy and from which there would never be any escape.

So this is the kind of love that we as the footstep followers of Jesus are endeavoring to achieve. The Apostle Paul states that this kind of love “suffers long, and is kind.” This means that we must be patient in trials, realizing first that it is by God’s permission that the trial has come our way. Also, we must endeavor to look beyond the person perpetrating the trial, taking into account the inherited weaknesses of all of mankind.

Then we are told that love does not envy, is not boastful, and is not puffed up. All of these things have to do with the manifestation of pride. We envy someone when he has something that we think we should have. The thing envied can be something material—a talent or a position. Actions motivated by envy can be unseemly and destructive to all involved. Being boastful and puffed up are less subtle expressions of pride, but they are no less harmful to the development of love.

Love doth not behave itself unseemly, which carries the thought of acting contrary to a proper form of conduct and good taste. This might mean to be rude or inconsiderate. Love seeketh not her own, or as some translations have it, love seeks not that which is not her own. In either case the thought seems to be that love is not manifested by a greedy or grasping attitude.

Love is not easily provoked or incited or angered. This means that emotional outbursts are not compatible with the manifestation of love. And, finally, the apostle says that love thinketh no evil. This suggests that love does not manifest itself through an attitude of suspicion or doubt. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, and therefore love fulfills the law. “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. … If there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.—Rom. 13:8-10

Dawn Bible Students Association
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