"Love Never Fails" (1 Corinthians 13:8)

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    Love is important to healthy growth, stability, and the ability to fight disease.   'Man must not live by bread alone' says the Bible (Luke 4:4).   Yes, love is important to health.   Modern-day medicine has concluded that anxiety and anger prevent well-being, but this is a long-known fact (Proverbs 16:24; 14:30; 15:17; 15:30).   Jesus even said his "food" was to do the will of God (John 4:34), and John wrote that "God is love" (1John 4:8; 4:16).   The first letter to the Corinthians written by the apostle Paul contains an eloquent description of the importance of love.

    Love is the factor that ties together the mental and physical aspects of health, because the brain is the master regulator of the whole body.   It follows that if our thinking is healthy, the body will do better.   Many doctors would agree that a positive attitude is a key factor in the recovery from any health setback.   In this case, mind over matter really works.   Of course, it is also true that good decisions promote a healthy attitude.   So important is it that we be feeling love ourselves that Jesus said 'love your enemies' (Matthew 5:44).

    One has only to look at the crime rate and drug abuse in children raised in broken homes to realize the impact of a loving home on the development of young minds.   If there is any question about whether this has to do with health, consider the many gang-related deaths in recent years (Matthew 26:52), not to mention the detrimental effect on health caused by poor eating habits or substance abuse which are also typical in these cases (John 2:19-21).   That poverty is not the root cause is amply illustrated by the much more productive paths taken by children in financially disadvantaged but loving homes (Proverbs 13:20; 28:11; 28:19).     But suppose someone among us doesn't have the benefit of loving parents or a secure environment in which to live.   God's Word assures us that even if our own father and mother left us we would be adopted by God (Psalm 27:10).   More than this, Jesus Christ said that there would be no one who willingly left their households for the sake of the good news "who will not get a hundredfold now in this period of time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, with persecutions, and in the coming system of things everlasting life" (Mark 10:30).

    Of course, if love doesn't suit us, there is the alternative: hate.

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