The Adventures of Bipolar Girl

Comfort for the Neurotic in All of Us

According to Bipolar Girl: What IS Love??

Anger blocks our ability to love. I learned that in the anger class I took last year. Since I’ve been battling some pretty fierce anger for months now is it any wonder that God would shine the spotlight on this? Here’s the original post from my very first blog (2005) with some 2012 revisions….

Post #737- 1 Corinthians 13 According to Bipolar Girl
 April 17, 2005 4:10pm

I’ve been wondering about love lately:  what it is, and why I don’t seem to know how to give or receive it. Today in church I was reminded of something God had revealed to me earlier this month about love and… what it is… and why I seem to have such trouble giving and receiving it. I share those thoughts today as I examine the famous “love chapter” in the Bible. *This is the one they’re examining in the book study. 

1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

I can say whatever I want, even “holy” stuff, but if I don’t love God, I’m just making noise.

1 Corinthians 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

Even if I have all knowledge and God gives me great faith, and if I “believe” in God, but don’t actually love him; then I’m nothing. On the Day of Judgment Jesus will say that he doesn’t know me, so for all eternity I will be nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Even if I sacrifice everything (give up everything I own; do good works; or even die for “the cause”) if I don’t love God, then I haven’t gotten anything. I’ve lost everything. Love doesn’t start with the actions. It starts with the heart and overflows into my actions. That’s why when I try to force myself to love people it blows up. I’m not loving them from an overflow of love of God in my heart. It’s “love” based on “shoulds” and that’s not love. 

So what is it like to actually love God? The answer to this is important to me because I’m learning that I have to love God before I can even attempt to love others. Yet, now that I see what love of God isn’t, I want to look at what loving God actually is:

1 Corinthians13:4 Love is patient.

God is patient with me. In order for me to show my love for God, I need to be patient with Him. I can’t try to force my timing. I must wait for His will and on His timing. I can’t insist on rushing in when Jesus is telling me to be still.

Love is kind.

When God tells me “no” or “wait” what is my attitude towards him? If I love him, I will be kind to him no matter how I feel about what he tells me. Telling God what to do or how he has to answer my prayers is not kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast.

Loving God means I don’t envy how much he has blessed or gifted others. I shouldn’t envy how much he’s blessed them with gifts and talents that I want  for myself, but neither should I brag about how he’s blessed   or gifted me. It’s about accepting who he made me to be — the good, the bad, and everything in between.

1 Corinthians 13:5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

If I love God, I’ll stop being rude to him. I won’t ignore him when he’s talking to me. I won’t interrupt him mid-sentence. I won’t pitch temper tantrums when I don’t get my way. I will watch the tone in which I speak to Him. I wonder, how many of my depressed episodes were essentially temper tantrums against God? If I love God, my walk will stop being all about “what’s in it for me” and become all about “what’s in it for him?” I will become God-seeking instead of selfseeking. I will seek His kingdom instead of my own.

If I love God, I need to stop playing the fool by getting angry at him when bad things happen to me and he doesn’t stop them from happening. It is foolish to get mad at God, but, unfortunately, I still do it all the time. I need to stop reminding him of every bad thing that he has ever “allowed” to happen to me over my entire life time. I need to stop dwelling on the wrongs of others… or on wrongs that others have done to me… because by holding on to this anger… by dwelling on how God let me be hurt, I set my own suffering above that of Christ.

1 Corinthians13:6 Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.

If I truly love God, I won’t wish ill upon those who hurt have me. I won’t be happy to repay evil with evil. I will rejoice in whatever truth God reveals in or through the life of that person and my involvement with them.

1 Corinthians13:7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Some people think that loving God always means acting like “a Christian” or being a “good witness.”  Yes, loving God means protecting his name with my “witness” because people judge Him by the way his people act. But it also means letting him protect my mind from guilt whenever I believe that I’ve fallen short –when my mental illness or my sexual addiction make me feel like I’m the worst Christian ever I need to let God protect me instead of trying to protect myself through isolation. Loving God means trusting him even when everything seems overwhelming and out of control. Loving God means always hoping in him and not giving way to the kind of doubt that kills. Loving God means persevering because “perseverance must finish its work so that [I] may be mature and complete lacking nothing.” James 1:4

 1 Corinthians13:8 Love never fails…

If I truly love God, I won’t stop loving him. No matter what life brings (positive or negative)…whether I find the pony or not…I will continue to seek him with all of my heart. If I love him like this… love for others will be a natural overflow. There is so much more to be said on this topic… but I’m ignorant. I wrote this… but I still haven’t learned how to walk it out. I’m hoping that by having me revisit a past lesson about love, God’s actually going to reveal more of what love really means, so that the anger will fade and the loving will take its place.


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4 thoughts on “According to Bipolar Girl: What IS Love??

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I really appreciate a verse by verse breakdown of 1 corinthians 13. This passage is so popular that it is difficult to see it with new eyes and you have done that. Thank you for this encouragement.


  2. Hello Aswingle! Welcome to Bipolar World. You are very kind in your comment. I know that my take on those verses is not the mainstream interpretation. Most people are quick to focus outward and tell us how we need to love people more and use these verses as a sort of “how to” guide for loving people. Focusing on people first never worked for Bipolar Girl because I had nothing in me to give. I spent so many years focusing on surviving my depression that there literally wasn’t any love to give. I had to (still have to) focus on the greatest commandment first (Love GOD). I find that when I’m not walking in love with God first it’s next to impossible for me to have any love for people no matter how good my intentions.


  3. That is a beautiful post about what the kind of Love God wants for us. I haven’t reached that level either…but all I can do is strive towards it..and hope that I hit the mark once in a while.

    Remember as far as anger is concerned..scripture says to not be ‘easily angered’ and another verse is ‘be angry and sin not’. There is ‘justifyable anger’ but of course a lot of the anger we encounter is not always that. Do not be overly critical of yourself for some anger that you might feel at times. just give it over to God ….Diane


  4. Diane,

    Thank you. Your words always encourage me. I’m not sure what else to say but THANK YOU.


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