Love is shown through gentleness and selflessness.
In 1 Corinthians 13:5, the Apostle Paul says –
“… Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil…”
As we continue studying the love of God and walking the more excellent way, we see that the expression of God’s gifts, the expression of kindness, generosity and good deeds must all overflow from our pursuit of loving people, from making that our main goal and motivation.
As Apostle Paul tells us about the love of God for his people – the kind of love that we are supposed to walk in – he shares another aspect of this love, that it is not rude and it does not seek its own. Love relates to others in a gentle manner, and it is not harsh or domineering. As we walk in love towards people and let God love people through us, we refrain from anything that hurts, harms, or demeans the other person. We will not think about what’s in it for us. Since love is all about the other person, it would never act in a way that subdues or controls them. It would rather find ways to put them first, to encourage and lift them up.
Love does not look at its own selfish interest. When we walk in God’s love, our thoughts will not gravitate towards what benefit or advantage we can gain for ourselves through our good works. Our primary motive will be the benefit of the people whom we love. In this way, selfless love empowers us to do what is genuinely beneficial for others, and not just something that will satisfy our own needs or make us look better.
On the contrary, if love is not our main motivation whenever we move in the gifts of the Spirit or do charitable deeds, it is likely that we may do those things in a way that is hurtful, and may actually cause harm to the other person. It could also just become another opportunity for self-promotion or feeding our own selfish motives. Love changes us by taking the focus away from ourselves and placing it on the person who is being served and loved by us. When we minister to others, love will make us relate and express ourselves in a way that is most fruitful for them.
The powerful outcome of receiving God’s love and allowing Him to flow through us is that we become gentle with people, we do things that lift them up, taking ourselves out of the picture and only focusing on what God wants done for that individual. Love is not self-seeking, it is self-effacing, willing to step out of the limelight and put the focus where it really matters – loving people like God loves them.
So remember, love is shown through gentleness and selflessness. Be unselfish in your expressions of the gifts and the good deeds that you do. Be gentle when you do so. Then you are walking the more excellent way.
Father, we thank you for teaching us how to walk the more excellent way of love. Help us Lord in all that we do to put people first and to love them genuinely with the love of God.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.