"God is love" (1 John 4:8, 16). He is Author of love and the manifestation of love. No one knows more about love than God. 1 Corinthians 13 is a description of love and since God is love, it is also a description of the character of God. The word God uses to describe love is "charity." Why the word charity? Because "love" is often mistaken as a feeling. However, "charity" always refers to love in action (e.g. giving). Hollywood's idea of love is often sentimental slobber, infatuation, or plain lust since it's focus is on self and not others; on getting instead of giving.
1. Charity is patient
" v. 4), even when you
feel like complaining or retaliating (cf. Gal. 5:22). Charity
is willing to suffer pain and trials a long time without resentment.
Love does not fret.
2. Charity is kind (v. 4), even when you feel like retaliating or speaking badly about another. Love is not hurtful, but helpful and courteous. Love says "please" and "thank-you." Love doesn't get nasty.
3. Charity is not envious ("envieth not " v. 4) of other people when they are getting more attention than you. Love rejoices when others are blessed.
4. Charity does not brag or show off ("vaunteth not itself " v. 4), even when you feel like telling everyone about your achievements. Love deflects praise towards another. Love is not "pushy." Love is never vain.
5. Charity is not conceited, proud, self-assertive ("bossy") or overbearing ("not puffed up " v. 4), even when you feel you are right and everyone else is wrong. Love doesn't act as though you are better than another (Phil. 2:3). Love is humble.
6. Charity always acts in good taste ("Doth not behave itself unseemly " v. 5). Love conforms to what is right and appropriate. Love is never rude, indecent, or unmannerly. Love shows respect.
7. Charity doesn't demand it's rights ("seeketh not her own " v. 5), even when you feel like you've been violated. Love is unselfish. Love is "other's oriented" (Phil. 2:4).
8. Charity is not irritable ("not easily provoked " v. 5), even when you feel someone has failed to meet your expectations. Love is not "touchy," and is not offended.
9. Charity is not critical nor takes into account a wrong suffered ("thinketh no evil " v. 5). Love is not vindictive and holds no grudges. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8). Love doesn't "stew" over the past. Love forgives (Rom. 12:17-21; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Pet. 3:9).
10. Charity hates to see anyone sin ("rejoiceth not in iniquity " v. 6). Love gets no enjoyment from sin even when someone else is doing it (cf. Rom. 1:31). [Do you enjoy TV programs or literature that glorify immoral living?] Love grieves over sin.
11. Charity is honest and truthful ("rejoiceth in the truth " v. 6) even when it would be easier or more profitable to lie. Love rejoices in the promotion of truth. Beware of anyone who doesn't love the preaching of the Word of truth.
12. Charity does not collapse under stress ("beareth all things " v. 7), even when you feel like everything is going wrong. Love sustains. Love bears no malice towards others who are difficult or antagonistic (Eph. 4:2-3; Col. 3:13).
13. Charity is trusting and not suspicious ("believeth all things " v. 7). Love gives people the benefit of the doubt and looks for the best in people.
14. Charity never gives up hope ("hopeth all things " v. 7), even when a situation looks hopeless.
15. Charity doesn't quit ("endureth all things " v. 7), even when you feel like quitting. Love is a survivor. Love is durable. Love remains standing when everything else has fallen.
16. Charity finds a way to succeed ("Charity never faileth " v. 8), even when you feel overwhelmed and doomed to fail.
The way to be a more loving person is to walk in the Spirit and not the flesh. Love is the product of walking in the Spirit. As a Christian walks in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit bears the fruit of the Spirit in the Christian's life.