Love requires patience. Love is not pushy. Love requires that I move at your pace rather than requiring that you move at mine.
Love requires kindness. Kindness is love’s response to weakness. Kindness is the choice to loan others our strength rather than reminding them of their weakness. It’s doing for others what they cannot in that moment do for themselves.
Love requires us to keep envy and pride from interfering with our ability to celebrate the success of others. Love requires us to allow others to shine. It isn’t threatened by the success of others.
Love requires us to show honor to others. Love never treats another person dishonorably, disgracefully, or indecently. Love doesn’t create regret. After all, honor is at the heart of every satisfying relationship.
Love requires selflessness. Love is not self-seeking or selfish. It puts the interests and needs of others first. That alone would solve most relationship problems.
Love is not easily angered. It’s not easily stirred up or provoked. Instead, love absorbs. Love puts the other person’s story ahead of its own.
Love requires us to forgive. Love keeps no record of wrongs. When someone holds your past over you, who’s in the elevated position? Love is not about powering up. Love is about stepping down.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects … always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love chooses a generous explanation when others don’t meet our expectations. Love requires us to do everything in our power to protect or guard the relationship.
That’s quite a list. But that’s what love requires. And when we embraced those imperatives as an organization, we knew what love required of us.
As 2020 winds down, let’s ask better questions about the big issues. The right answer for our church, and for the communities around our church, was clarified by asking, “What does love require?”
So, what does love require of you? During this unusual season, what does love require of your organization?
(Andy Stanley is founder and senior pastor of North Point Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia, a television host and podcaster, and the author of more than twenty books. His latest book is “Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets: 5 Questions to Help You Determine Your Next Move.” The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily represent those of Religion News Service.)
This article originally appeared on ReligionNews.com.