Love is one of the most misused and misunderstood concept. In the world, it is a just a nice feeling that comes and goes; only an emotion, but that is not the truth, that is not the way true love (God’s kind of love) is. The bible says “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” The word of God is the truth and the truth never gets old.
Now let’s explore the truth about love because it is more than just a feeling.
Love is a command
John 15:12 says “This is my commandment that ye shall love one another as I have loved you” John 13:34 – “A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” 1 John 4:21 also says “And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 Corinthians 16:4 – “Do everything in love.”[NIV]
God knows the importance of love in our lives so much that he commanded us to love each other and do all things in love. For it to be a commandment means we are to love whether we feel like it or not. We are to discipline ourselves to love at all times, making a conscious decision to obey that commandment.
God is Love
1 John 4:16 – “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us, God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:8 – “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” Love is not just God’s nature, it is God Himself. He loves us no matter what. He loves us so much that even when we were sinners and disobedient to Him, He gave His only son to save us (John 3:16). He forgives and overlooks all our wrongs once we come to Him, that’s how He loves. This is a new dimension of love for a lot of people – to love when offended or wronged- but that is God’s kind of love and that is the way He wants us to love as His children.
Love is shown in actions
1 John 3:18 – “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” We are to love in truth and in deed _in actions, not just in words. It is very easy for people to say ‘I love you’. As a matter of fact those three words have been communized by a lot of people. Don’t get it wrong, it’s actually good to tell those you love that you love them but showing them in actions is of a greater value than the words. Love can be shown in different ways both big and small. Giving someone attention is a way of showing love, as simple as that is. Surprising your spouse or someone with something they’ve been admiring is another way of showing love.
Love can also be shown by meeting someone’s need. It doesn’t even have to be someone you’ve known before, we are to show God’s love to everyone. 1 John 3:17 says, “But whoso hath this world’s good and seeth his brother have need and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” You cannot claim to love and watch people around you struggle when it is in your power to help. That is not love. Love shown (love in action) impacts more lives and communicates more than love spoken. True love is shown in actions and not just words.
More characteristics of Love
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”[NIV]
This is the God’s love syllabus. He not only commanded us but gave us a guide on how we’re to love. There are about 15 characteristics of love in the scripture and most of them are things that are done consciously. They are not just based on feelings but require responsibility. Let’s list them out:
- Love is patient
- Love is kind
- Love does not envy
- Love does not boast
- Love is not proud
- Love does not dishonor others
- Love is not self-seeking
- Love is not easily angered
- Love keeps no record of wrongs
- Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
- Love always protects
- Love always trusts
- Love always hopes
- Love always perseveres
- Love never fails
This is the truth about love. This is how God wants us to love; it is His kind of love. It is our responsibility to love as He has commanded and shown us. I believe we’ll all love better from henceforth.