Christian Living, faith

Love Test

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

I saw this online: How well do you love others? Take the love test.

It appeared to be questions to provoke thought with 1 Corinthians 13 as the benchmark. I’ve read that some dating advice parents give children is to insert the name of the person they’re interested in throughout 1 Corinthians 13. Could you honestly say John or Susie is kind, patient, isn’t rude, isn’t boastful, doesn’t demand their own way etc? People do tend to put their best face forward initially in relationships and being objective is challenging. But it’s still an interesting directive of wisdom.

Is there a love test?

No, I’m not referring to a multiple choice quiz or fill in the blank and see what the answers indicate below. I mean taking a good, hard look at ourselves through the mirror of God’s word and seeing if our reflection resembles who we say we are.

1 Corinthians 13:2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Without love I am nothing. You are nothing.

Love is pretty darn important. It’s worth seriously looking at. In order to properly take a “love test” I think it’s important to build a little foundation first.

Let’s get this established before going on. God is love. So the definition of true love involves knowing and understanding its origins. Unbelievers can know only a fraction of what love is. No one loves perfectly so that’s true for believers as well, but those that know God intimately have a greater resource-and really the resource-to draw love from. They can grasp a love that only comes from Him-agape.

Agape: brotherly love with faithfulness, commitment, good will and charity for others

Love is a fruit of the Spirit.

Walking in the Spirit helps us love. This isn’t a super mystical, abstract instruction. Walking in the Spirit is not walking according to our carnal desires. It’s walking in obedience to God’s word and keeping Him the center focus. It can involve flowing in spiritual gifts, but I’m not going to delve into that at all.

Ok, so God is love. Got it. Or do I get it? Do I really know Him?

We become and reflect who (or what) we spend time with.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

Are we spending quality time reading the Word? In prayer-both in quiet, alone times and throughout the day? Are we fellowshipping with other believers? Listening to biblically sound teaching? If we’re not investing anything into knowing God more, then we won’t. Plain and simple. In turn, we won’t be changing into His image and character either. We would be full of the world and too busy satisfying our flesh and fickle feelings.

So…God is love. We need to know Him intimately.

What’s the love test?

I think the love test comes down to two questions.

1. How do you treat people when others aren’t watching? This includes those you live with and those you interact with one-on-one. Are you polite, kind, generous, and speak with integrity? You can’t chew out your spouse or another person in private, then be nice to a neighbor or someone at church and claim to walk in agape love.

This also involves leaving out the cell phone camera and video when you’re helping the needy.

Don’t forget about gossip. Remember, God is always watching. So choose your words wisely.

Hebrews 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

2. How do you treat your enemies or those you dislike, disagree with, or are offended by in some way?

Luke 6:31-34 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.

Scripture makes it clear that loving (which involves action and doing good) only those you like, are comfortable with, or love you back isn’t true, godly love. Why?

Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

For now at least. Judgment Day will come. But we must keep in mind that none deserve God’s love and Christ died for us when we were sinners.

He loved us first.

So when someone hurts you and you’re tempted to get even, you love instead. Overcome evil with good (see Romans 12:21.) Leave the vengeance to God (see Deuteronomy 32:35, Romans 12:19.) When someone gossips about you, speak kindly of them. When someone rejects you, pray a blessing on them and wish them the best.

Today, I want you to really examine yourself. Do you say you’re a Christian or believer in Messiah? If so, are you walking in love? Because if you’re not, you are nothing according to scripture. Your faith is no more than a title. It’s nominal, for show only.

Be sincere. Truly love. To do that, walk in the Spirit and wholeheartedly seek Him daily. We must draw from Him to reflect Him to others, otherwise we’re reflecting ourselves only. God forbid.

Take the love test. If you’ve failed it, there’s good news. You get a do-over right now. Choose this day who you will reflect and serve.

The love we show may be the invitation that leads someone to the heart of God. -Katie Williams

2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

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