1 Corinthians 13, says Love is patient, love is kind. Love is beyond envy. To love means to have an inner orientation where, through the power of God, I will and work for the good of another person. Here's where it gets tricky. Love is not irritable.
I catch myself thinking about it sometimes at night. My spiritual gift might be pouting. The first thing that happened to me when I came into the world is that a doctor slapped me for no good reason at all, and I've held it against him ever since.
I often wonder if, I'd be more loving if God would just give me more lovable people, but Paul does not say, Go find more lovable people to be around. He says, commit to allowing God to grow you into a more loving person.
Life is full of irritants. An irritant is anything that causes frustration: a boss' unreasonable request, poor service at a restaurant, a relative who is deliberately rude, or a co-worker who makes you look bad at a meeting. You're running late. Traffic is terrible. Somebody deliberately and arrogantly cuts in front of you, and you find yourself seized with a desire to gesture at them in a non-faith based way. That's irritation. The number-one irritant in life, of course, is other people.
We say at our church, "Everybody is welcome," and that's true; it's also true that everybody is irritating, but Paul says, Love is not irritable. Notice he does not say, Love never gets angry. Anger is the emotion we experience when our will is frustrated. The purpose of anger is to provide the energy to deal with the frustration. Irritability is a mood. Moods are longer lasting than emotions.
The very next observation Paul makes about love in 1 Corinthians 13, is Love keeps no record of wrongs. What does that mean? No record of wrongs? Well, we're all record-keepers. We all have certain memories and certain thoughts that we store up in our minds and bring back to our awareness on a regular basis.
Of course, after a while, that play list goes on autopilot in your mind. It's like Pandora. Your mind knows your greatest hits list and replays it. After a while, you don't even have to think about it anymore. It's just on autopilot.
But Love thinks excellent thoughts. That's why loving actions and loving words flow more and more automatically out of a loving person, because they reflect their thoughts going on in the inside. Love keeps excellent records. In love, I live in the recurring thought that I am loved and cared for by God. Then, that leads me to look for other people I might show love to. To whom might I show kindness? That's love's question. It’s what the world needs more of.
All you need is Love