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The John 1721 Movement is about putting into practice Jesus’ prayer that his followers love one another and love those around them.  So what does this mean exactly.  What are the biblical characteristics of love?  

The 16 Characteristics of Love

Love is patient ~ Love suffers long.  It does not lose heart.  It perseveres with patience and bravely endures misfortunes and troubles.  It bears offenses and injuries with confidence that “all things work together for good for those who love God.”

Love is kind ~ It looks for ways to be useful and help others.  It has the motivation of giving rather than taking.  It focuses on peoples’ needs rather than their faults. It looks for the good in others.  It seeks to encourage and build others up.

Love does not envy ~ It does not harbor the desire to have that which belongs to others.   It is not possessive of what it does have, but views all things as something to be a steward over.  It is content with basic necessities and can enjoy nice things, but does not allow wants, desires, and things to displace God.

Love does not boast ~ It does not boast about its’ abilities and its’ accomplishments.  It does not look for ways to promote itself or extol its’ virtues.  It does not embellish.

Love is not proud ~ It is not puffed up.  It does not hold exaggerated ideas of its’ own importance.   It does not look down on others with contempt or disdain.

Love is not rude ~ It treats others respectfully. It has good manners. It does not flaunt itself to attract attention or to stir up sensual desires in others.  It does not act coarsely, indecently or shamefully.

Love is not self seeking ~ It does not demand its’ own way.  It does not crave things for its’ own pleasure or profit.  It does not focus on itself but on the needs of others.   It is willing to lay down its’ life for the benefit of others.

Love is not easily angered ~  It resists taking up an offense against another.  It conquers anger and wrath with love.  It can stand up to adversaries, yet treat them kindly.  It does not jump to rivalry, but helps others succeed.

Love keeps no record of wrongs ~ It does not harbor grievances toward another.  It does not allow seeds of bitterness to take root.  It forgives. It seeks to reconcile and to keep relationships in good shape.

Love does not delight in evil ~ It guards its’ heart and mind.  It sets before itself the goal of loving God first.  It resists falling into temptation.  It does not secretly cultivate a desire for sensual, perverse, or dishonest things.

Love rejoices in the truth ~ It knows there are universal truths that God has established and written in the heart.   It trains itself to think about things that are true, honest, just, pure, praiseworthy and noble.  It desires all people to have knowledge of the truth.  It has the courage to speak the truth even when it is not popular.

Love protects ~ It seeks protection for those who can’t defend themselves, the weak, the poor, the aged, the unborn, the newborn and the downtrodden.  It acts bravely and courageously and speaks up when wrongs are done. It seeks equal justice for all.

Love trusts ~ It is not naïve.  It seeks to build trusting relationships over time by being trustworthy, honest, and responsible to others.

Love hopes ~ It always has hope that in this world things will turn out for good in the end.  But even when things are hopeless and remain so in this life, it hopes beyond this life for the next and that God will make all things right in the end.  It sees the hope of eternal life in the message and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Love perseveres ~  It sticks with its vows and commitments regardless of feelings. When everything else fails and all is falling down around it, love still stands.  It believes in the ultimate goodness of God and His plan, so love soldiers on.

Love never fails ~ God is love.  Love will win in the end.   Whereas human love fails and falls short, God’s love is unfailing.

Heart - WaterColor
What are Jesus’ principles of love ?

The implications of true love our profound. 

Societies view of love today is infatuation, lust, accept me as I am, don’t challenge me.

This is a “cotton candy” kind of love.

The Biblical concept of love is multi-faceted, robust, fulfilling and challenging.  Consider these additional principles of love exemplified in Jesus’ life:

  • Accepting Love – Mercy
  • Sacrificial Love – Giving of Oneself
  • Courageous Love – Truth
  • Confronting Love – Honesty
  • Caring Love – Compassion
  • Cleansing Love – Dealing with Sin
  • Connecting Love – Connect others to God
  • Forgiving Love – offering grace to Others

These truths offer a lifetime of challenge to put into practice. 

This movement is committed to “speaking the truth in love” that we all might leave the things that so easily entangle us and press on to full life in Christ.



YMCA Mission - Love and its Many Dimensions

This image is in the YMCA Mission Burning Bright Presentation

In the YMCA Mission Toolbox on this site.