Did you know that the bible defines love as God? God is love which is why He wants us to love people in a way that is pleasing to Him. Our love walk actually demonstrates our maturity in God, not our gifts and callings. Romans 11:29 states that our “gifts and calling of God are without repentance”, we did nothing to earn them, therefore they’re a gift. These gifts are not given by God based on how spiritually mature we are, they are given based on His love for us.
Many times we see or hear a preacher that has charisma and they are able to move a crowd, or see a prophet that is very accurate with prophecies or very proficient in delivering a Word of Knowledge and we assume these gifts demonstrate their maturity level in God but they don’t. It is their love walk that shows how mature they are.
Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 12:31 that love is the “more excellent way” and then goes into further detail in chapter 13 stating that if you are gifted and do great things, it all means nothing if you do not have love. God is more concerned about the condition of our heart because it is our heart that shows the real us.
God looks at the heart, who you are on the inside versus a person’s outward appearance or actions. (See 1 Samuel 16:7, Jeremiah 17:10) God is also able to judge the motives of our hearts. A person may be doing all the right things but for all the wrong reasons or a person may be doing the wrong thing but their intentions are righteous. The Bible states that “faith works by love” so for your faith to work you need to have a love for God and for people. Also, 1 Corinthians 13:13 says between faith, hope and love that “the greatest is love.”
In order to give love to others, you have to first receive God’s love for you because you cannot give what you do not have. When you mature and grow in love, you will put away childish ways. 1 Corinthians 13:11 says “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” This scripture is talking about spiritual maturity.
God’s love for us is an agape love. Agape is the Greek word used in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and is an unconditional love that overlooks a person’s faults and shortcomings and quickly forgives. Love is a choice, not a feeling.
Forgiveness is a big part of loving. If you are not able to forgive, check your love walk and spend more time in God’s presence to engulf yourself in His love. Your love walk is a journey, it’s a process where we are perfected in it more and more, as long as we desire to grow in that area. When you fail or make a mistake, don’t condemn yourself. Ask God for forgiveness and learn more about yourself from your mistakes. Learning from mistakes enables you to “outgrow” them and you will find in time that you are not making the same mistakes.