Summary: When it comes to studying about love, it is easy to feel under the pile because no human can measure up to the standard of love in 1 Corinthians 13 - and that's because it is God's standard. Thanks be to God that he makes us able, as we give our lives, ho

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If you’ve watched any spy movies lately, or paid attention to military rhetoric in the past decade, you will have heard the term “actionable intelligence.” It means that you have obtained important information that you can do something about.

Well, when it comes to love, I want to coin a term off of that for us to remember. Love is “actionable empathy.” Actionable Empathy means you are focused on another, trying to find out ways that you can act and speak that are redemptive in their lives, regardless of how they do or do not respond to you.

Couple this with two verses from chapter 10: (1 Corinthians 10:24 ) “no one should seek his own good but the good of the other person.” And (1 Corinthians 10:31 ) “Whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.”

“Actionable Empathy” means looking out for how you can help someone become more like the Lord-thus giving Him glory.

Why is love important?

It is the one commandment from Jesus

John 13:34-35 "I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.”

John echoed these words:

1 John 4:20-21 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And we have this command from Him: the one who loves God must also love his brother.�

It is what sets you apart from the world culture of this age. Jesus said “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 ).

It is the one thing where we have a debt

Romans 13:8-10 Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments:

You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal,

you shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment—all are summed up by this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.

Notice again that there are 8 characteristics of love where Paul uses a positive and 8 where he uses a word to tell us what love is not. Why is that? I think that in part it is because love doesn’t come naturally to us so we can more easily identify with our natural state.

Another thing to note along those lines—the flesh will fight your desire to walk in love. So don’t think this will come easily or stay easily. You must constantly be aware of the flesh’s desire to go back to its nature.

We’ve been looking at the love words (contrasting what is and what is not love) in the first five verses.

Patient—not short tempered

Kind—actions for the good of the other

Does not envy—being content with who you are and what you have so you can see clearly to help another

Does not boast—not putting others down to lift yourself up

Is not conceited—being humble (not letting the self-rationalizing mind fool you)

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