Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV
Loving may sound easy and natural until you consider its character traits. It is one thing to "love" when you expect to be loved back, but another thing entirely to choose to love when it requires patience and kindness, or when there is a reason to keep a record of wrongs or to get angry or to be rude. I believe loving well according to 1 Corinthians 13's definition requires transformation by Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit!
Choose to love according to this definition! Apply it to Stephanie, my kids, and my neighbor, not just when it is easy, but also when it is difficult. Draw from the indwelling Spirit who lives within me to do that which Jesus modeled perfectly but I cannot do on my own.
Lord, thank you for giving us the perfect example of how to love. And since you have commanded us to love one another, please empower me by Your Spirit to love well, not according to my ability but according to Yours. I love you, but thank you for loving me first and for loving me perfectly, with all of my imperfections.