not easily angered
keeps no record of wrongs
does not delight in evil
rejoices with the truth
Love never fails (from 1Corinthians 13:4-8)
Love lives in many things, many actions, many thoughts, many feelings.
It is not found where self is important, where self needs to be protected, where the actions of self need to be defended, where self interests are considered.
Acting lovingly, or doing those things where love desires to live, for what you get out of it cannot contain a love that will last or build and therefore is not true love.
God is love. He loves us beyond any level we can imagine but a level to which we are called to run after, chase and desire.
He loves us and what is it that he gets for it?
A people who would rather be slaves in Egypt.
A people who would rather lay with prostitutes and murderers and worship their gods
A people who would rather have unruly troubled children than trouble with their upbringing.
A people who would rather wallow in filth and the consequences of pretty lies than come to Him pure of heart and on our faces before him.
Yet, He loves us over and over and over. He loves us knowing full well and before any of this world existed that He would not get a good return out of his investment.
How dare we then love in any other way but his way?
How dare we declare our love and do loving things for certain return from those we love?
How dare we counsel others that if you perform this loving thing then your beloved will most likely react in this fashion favorable to you.
Those who teach will be judged more strictly, and woe to those through whom sin comes, they will better off to be thrown into the sea with a millstone about their necks. We must watch ourselves. Our actions and our counsel.
Our first motivation in love and in loving gestures must be God, we love because God first loved us. Then our motivation can be the other person, whom we place before ourselves, out of reverence for our Lord. Our egos, our "needs" must remain at all times out of the equation. If not, our attempts in the first two goals, to love God and to love others and esteem them more than ourselves, fail. And true love does not fail.