Spiritual Growth: Apply
Take a Love Checkup
Love is the way to victory. It really is that simple. Without it, there is no hope of obtaining the blessings of the Lord or living the life He intended. So, if you are going to focus on improving any one area of your life—focus on your love walk.
The word of the Lord through Brother Copeland is that 2021 is the Year of the Local Church. To be the Church, we must be people who operate in love. When your pastor teaches on walking in love, tune in! He’s trying to help you achieve victory in your life, which is your greatest testimony to the world.
None of us is perfect in the area of love, and to be sure, it takes continual effort. That’s why it’s important to take a love checkup on a regular basis and tighten things up wherever needed.
To help you, we’re sharing an excerpt from Gloria Copeland’s new book, Walking in the Fruit of the Spirit, which includes a love checkup. Based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, take your time at each stop and be real about where you can improve in each one.
- “Love endures long and is patient and kind.”
When you’re walking in love, you don’t get snippy and irritated with people who aren’t acting the way you want them to. You treat them kindly, and instead of getting exasperated with them, you’re longsuffering because love doesn’t wear out. It doesn’t give up on people.
Even if it’s wronged repeatedly, love forgives “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22). It overflows with so much mercy that its mercies are “new every morning” (Lamentations 3:23, KJV). Whatever it takes, love keeps seeking opportunities to do good things for others and to be a blessing to them.
- “Love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy.”
When you’re walking in love, you celebrate with people and share their joy when they receive a blessing or experience success. You don’t resent them for getting the car, the house or the promotion you wanted. If Satan tempts you to do so, you respond like my daughter, Kellie, did one time when she was about 3 years old. Her room was a mess and Ken said to her, “Kellie, you get in there and pick up those toys.” She answered him right back and said, “That’s not my thought!”
That’s how love talks to the devil. When he comes around you with his ugly ideas and attitudes, love rises up in you and rebukes him: “No, Devil. That’s not my thought! I’m not taking that envy. I’m not taking that jealousy. I’m walking in love.”
- “[Love] is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride).”
Love doesn’t puff you up and cause you to act like you’re a big shot. It moves you to lift up other people. Rather than making you want to show off to everyone how wonderful you are, love causes you to focus on those around you. It makes you want them to know how wonderful they are!
- “[Love] is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.” Love will cause you to be courteous even when other people are behaving rudely toward you. It will empower you to hold your tongue and respond in every situation in a way that reflects the nature of God. When the waiter in the restaurant doesn’t give you the proper attention, for example, love will inspire you to be nice to him anyway. Love will cause you to extend grace to him and bless him with a good tip!
- “Love...does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking.”
This characteristic of love can save your marriage. It will stop hurtful arguments before they start. When a disagreement arises between you and your spouse, if you’ll put the other person’s desires before your own instead of insisting on getting your own way, you’ll have peace instead of turmoil in your home.
“But I’m not the one who’s in the wrong at our house,” you might say. “My spouse is the one who needs to change!”
That may be so, but someone has to take the first step. Someone has to stop saying, “I have a right to do this! I have a right to have that!” You be the one who makes the change. Speak words of love instead of selfishness, and you’ll open the door for God to work.
- “[Love] is not touchy or fretful or resentful.”
Sometimes, we have trouble not being fretful when someone hurts our feelings. I’ve had to remind myself a lot over the years that “I am not touchy, fretful or resentful.” Some of my friends have, too.
When you take this love checkup and set out to make improvements in each area, you’ll be well on your way to a better, happier, healthier and more successful life! This year, as we focus on the local church and what God is calling us to do as the Church, make love your aim. Allow the word spoken from the pulpit to develop the love of God within you. Become a person who makes working on your love walk as much a part of your day as eating and sleeping. Make it a habit. You’ll never be the same again!