Have you ever wondered why “LOVE” is mentioned first in the fruit of the spirit? Well, we may come up with many reasons and scriptures to support those reasons, such as:
Faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13.13
The Lord abounds in steadfast love. Exodus 34.6
I love the Lord because He hears me. Psalm 116.1
Greater love has no man than the one who lays down his life. John 15.13
God shows His love by dying for us when we were sinners. Romans 5.8
But I think it might have to do with this verse:
Hate stirs up strife,
covers all offenses.
You see, to me there is nothing more like God than the willingness to love and forgive offenses. Did you notice the word ‘willingness’? Willingness means we have a choice in the matter. Let that sink in.
Yes, the Holy Spirit in us will develop His fruit in us, but we make choices that may slow or speed up the process. For example, when we choose love, we choose to forgive offenses. It’s amazing how sweeter life is when we choose to love others.
Sometimes that choice comes by choosing not to take offense at things. It’s easy to wear our feelings on our shoulders and get offended by comments or lack of comments from others. I made a decision a long time ago to not be offended by an “assumed” offense.
What I mean by an “assumed” offense is the comment that is not an outright offense. Maybe it’s not outright because the words were okay but the tone or inflection was not. I choose to let that go. Maybe a comment was more abrupt than I would like, but not necessarily an offensive comment. I choose to let it go.
How is that showing love? I’m glad you asked. Love covers all offenses according Proverbs 10.12. When I choose not to be offended, I am choosing to love the other person over the offense.
God is love. He IS love. He doesn’t exemplify love. He IS love. And He lives in the believer through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we HAVE the capacity to love. And we have the choice to demonstrate it or not.
Let’s choose love today and everyday as we grow in the “fruit of the Spirit”!