What does it look like when love fails? You know -- well, you know what love looks like:
Love is patient
... thinks of others and not self
... brags about others, not self
... enjoys others' successes
... never dishonors other people
... is almost always gentle
... forgets and forgives all offenses
... is happy that truth will win
... can discern and reject evil
... is strong, trusting, optimistic, enduring
... is eternal.
It outlasts even other wonderful, miraculous, desirable things.
I've used this scripture as a litmus test this past year to evaluate myself and the interactions I see around me -- on social media or in person. Hold up LOVE, like a mirror, and see if you find yourself there. Usually I don't get past the first two criteria -- am I patient? am I kind? -- before realizing that I am not loving. I am hating. I'm not like Jesus; I'm like the devil. I need to change myself and stop worrying about anybody else changing.
It puts so much in perspective. It seems to me that there's not much in the Bible about bashing the world around us and forcing it to change. There's a lot in the Bible about beating my own heart into compliance and forcing it to soften. The only time I can think of Jesus (my example, my mentor) exhibiting anger was in church. He didn't go to Rome and lose his temper, but he was upset when the His church was corrupt.
This post is not about any particular events happening now. It applies all the time. Followers of Jesus, we are called to love, and to be known as his followers because we love. Since love outlasts all other things, if we don't succeed with that assignment, nothing else much matters. I Cor. 13 makes that painfully clear. Let's ask ourselves honestly: "What is the loving thing to do, toward my neighbor?" And then, even if you have to change yourself, do it.