I Corinthians 13:4-8 gives the characteristics of charity, which is divine love that is only possible with the help of the Spirit. Thinking about these characteristics, which are all found in Jesus, they are the things which make someone a pleasure to be around. When I think about those people with whom I look forward to spending time, I notice that at least one if not many of these characteristics tend to be present:
· Longsuffering while being kind – more than just enduring and also being kind, but being kind while you suffer because the suffering does not change your spirit or attitude.
· Not envious of what others have/are – content with what is your lot while also desiring the best for others.
· Not boasting self to be more or greater than another.
· Always acting in a manner that shows the Lord’s love.
· Not looking out for #1 at another’s expense.
· Not short-tempered or getting upset over little things.
· Thinking on good things as mentioned in Philemon 4:8.
· Not finding joy in getting your own way if it is in opposition to what is true and like Jesus.
· Willing to endure even if it means suffering because you believe the Lord and every word He said or taught.
This kind of love is of God and is eternal but it is not natural instinct to mankind and goes against the flesh. Therefore, when we find these characteristics in another, we rejoice to see a piece of the Lord in a life.
The first three verses of this chapter mention many things that the world would prize as good works or profitable endeavors to be praised but without charity, even all of that is empty and vain in the eyes of the Lord. It is letting the Lord lead, guide, and inspire us that makes our lives savor of heavenly things and brings us nearer to the Father and our Savior, which in the long run is more rewarding than a little recognition or praise from people who may not even remember you in a few years and definitely will not even be around when this life and the natural creation have finished their purpose. Let us strive to allow the Spirit to dwell within us and to guide every aspect of our lives so that charity and the likeness of Jesus may be the savor that comes forth from our lives.