We who speak English use the word ‘love’ to describe how we feel about our spouse or that one significant person in our life. Also, we use the same word to describe our favorite flavor of ice cream or our favorite food or snack.

The Greek people had four words to describe the various meanings of what they meant by ‘love’. They called romantic love, Eros. When they described brotherly love, they used the term, Phileo. For love that seeks the betterment of others, they used the word Agape. The fourth word is Storge, which described love between family members.

We really don’t understand what love is. Some look at it as an emotion or a feeling. Others see it as a commitment. What does the Bible say about love? The Apostle Paul describes this thing we call ‘love’.

He says it is patient. The King James Version of the Bible speaks of long-suffering. I like that old word; I find comfort in the 17th century use of the phrase. Paul speaks of love being kind. People perform acts of kindness because they love another person. Parents love their children and are motivated by that love to go the extra mile when those children need some help.

Love does not envy. Love and envy are akin to oil and water. When someone mixes these tangible items, there forms a layered effect distinctly separating the two. When a person receives a promotion, purchases a new car, or moves to a new home, those who love them are happy for them.

Love doesn't boast. When we love someone, we don’t ‘toot our own horn’, we don’t make their achievement look small by saying, “I could have done that better.” We had a neighbor who always seemed to put me down when I found what I thought was a bargain. If I got it at what I thought was a reasonable price, she always said she could get it at half of what I paid.

One who has love for mankind is not rude. That person will go out of their way to keep from offending another but word or action.

Love is not self-seeking. When a person loves another, the first person chooses not to talk about his achievements in his life. He or she will refrain from saying anything that will make themselves look better than they are. One who loves is not easily angered. It takes a lot for them to get their mood barometer to go askew. He or she chooses not to let off steam because another person stepped on their toes.

One practicing love for those around them keeps no record of wrongs. They don’t mentally keep score of the hurtful remarks made by another.

A person choosing to love another does not delight in evil. When that person hears of a tragic situation, he or she feels sad for those involved.

Instead, that loving person rejoices with the truth. Whenever someone else discovers the path to God, one who practices love is thankful for the new believer and does not bring up the other person’s past sin.

One who loves always protects. He or she will refrain from saying things that would cause another to grieve over a situation.

One who loves always hopes. This person does not despair when things don’t go his or her way. He or she always wants what is best in any situation. Always prays for the best outcome for the other people.

The person who practices love always perseveres. That person signs on for the long haul. They don’t give up when something goes against them.