Verse 5 says, “is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” Have you ever known someone who always in interrupting things? This person evidentially has a great love for himself which is the wrong kind of love. He is rude and self-seeking. He is thinking that what he has to say is more important that the thoughts of others. True love esteems others better than themselves. Philippians 2:3 says, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”
Love is not easily angered and has an extremely long fuse. It keeps no records of wrongs. How many times have we found ourselves doing something to someone because of a wrong they committed against us? Do you find yourself keeping a record of who wronged you and reasoning with yourself why you have a right to dislike them? In Colossians 3:13 we are called to forgive as Christ forgave. “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”
Several years ago I was listening to a local radio station when I heard the amazing story behind Matthew West’s song “Forgiveness”. This story is the perfect illustration of a woman forgiving someone that she had every right not to forgive. You can read the full story here .
Verse 6 says, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” Adam Clarke says, “But is it not a frequent case that persons, who have received any kind of injury, and have forborne to avenge themselves, but perhaps have left it to God; when evil falls upon the sinner do console themselves with what appears to them an evidence that God has avenged their quarrels; and do at least secretly rejoice that the man is suffering for his misdeeds? Is not this, in some sort, rejoicing in iniquity?” Can we say, “Ouch”? How many times have we rejoiced at something bad that happened to someone who wronged us?
Verse 7 says, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” A good illustration of love that protects is a story that is told of a barn that burns down. There were several animals that were not able to be rescued. One was an old mother hen. When the hen was discovered during the clean-up she was found with her wings spread over her chicks in an effort to save them from the flames and smoke.
Another idea of protection is brought up by Adam Clarke when he says, “Love conceals everything that should be concealed; betrays no secret; retains the grace given; and goes on to continual increase. A person under the influence of this love never makes the sins, follies, faults, or imperfections of any man, the subject either of censure or conversation. He covers them as far as he can; and if alone privy to them, he retains the knowledge of them in his own bosom as far as he ought.”
Love always trusts. This one is hard because in this day and age we are taught not to trust anybody. Sometimes, we don’t even trust our own family. A good picture of trust is found when a little child is standing on the edge of a pool with the parent in the water saying, “Jump in and I will catch you.” After a moment hesitating on the edge, the child takes the leap and jumps in.
Love also hopes. It looks for the best even when there is no hint of it. Even when someone we love disappoints us. There should be that little sprout of hope that somehow stays with us telling us that they will make amends and come back. In Jeremiah 17:7 it says, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” The only person that we can trust and hope in, without getting let down, is Christ.
Love is also perseverant. This is the idea of continuing on even when the chips are down. Adam Clarke says, “Bears up under all persecutions and mal-treatment from open enemies and professed friends; bears adversities with an even mind, as it submits with perfect resignation to every dispensation of the providence of God; and never says of any trial, affliction, or insult, this cannot be endured.”