Loving the Way Jesus Loves (Book Review)

Essentially a commentary on 1 Corinthians 13, Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken is a wonderful portrayal of what it means to love with the love of Christ.

Each chapter in Loving the Way Jesus Loves takes a focused look at the different characteristics of love taught in 1 Corinthians 13. It also views 1 Corinthians 13 through the lens of Christ’s love, and how He exemplified each characteristic of love described in 1 Corinthians.

Love is Not Irritable

I found chapter 3, Love Is Not Irritable, particularly helpful (and convicting!)

When we are irritable, we want to get away from other people—our family members, our neighbors, our classmates, our co-workers—even if it means keeping other people away from Jesus, too. (page 52)

This is how irritability treats other people: by putting what we want ahead of what they need and, if possible, by trying to avoid their needs altogether. The real problem is us, not them. We need to be honest about this, because often we blame the people around us for the way we respond.”He really makes me mad!” we say, as if someone outside of us were directly and totally responsible for our sinful attitude. This is not to say that other people are never annoying. Sometimes they are. But the spiritual issue for me is not how irritating other people are; it is how irritable I am. (page 52-53)

Oh, how I need the love of Jesus to love others more than I do myself!

Christ-Centric Study

Ryken does a wonderful job of pointing us to Jesus with every chapter. I cannot be less irritable, self-seeking, or impatient without the love of Christ. It is His love that is the example I look to, and it is only His love that enables me to love like Jesus.

Jesus never does anything without love. Indeed, his love is everything the Love Chapter says that love should be. It is patient with sinners and kind to strangers. It does not envy or boast but offers itself in humble service. It does not envy or boast but offers itself in humble service. It does not insist on its own way but submits to the Father. It is able to forgive, trust, hope, and persevere…In other words, the love of Jesus is everything that we are not…Jesus is the living perfection of love. (page 178)

I found chapter 10, Love Trusts,very interesting and helpful in understanding how love trusts and how that trust can affect my prayer life. Jesus loved God so much, that He believed all things, even when He hung on the cross, beaten and forsaken.

This is the way that God makes us believers out of us: he gives us his love. The more we experience the Father’s love, the more we will learn to trust him, even in times of extreme need and desperate helplessness. We will learn to pray in faith the way that Jesus did: “Father, into your hands I commit…”

…We pray the same way in our struggle with sin. We may feel defeated by some particular transgression—a repeated sin that the Devil tempts us to think we can never conquer. But the love of God persuades us to say, “Father, into your hands I commit my sanctification. By your love, deliver me from the Evil One and give me your power over this sin!”

…We can pray this way about everything in life:” Father, into your hands I commit my marriage [or my singleness].” “Into your hands I commit my ministry—whatever way you want me to serve you.” “Into your hands I commit the community you have called me to love, with all its problems.” “Father, into your hands I commit my future, with all its hopes and fears.”

There is also a great study guide in the back, making this a great book for a small group discussion.

I really enjoyed this book! Grab your own copy today, you’ll love it!

I received this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.

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