What is Love?
“Love is when someone makes me smile when I’m tired.”
“Love is when mom takes a sip of dad’s coffee before giving it to him to make sure it tastes just right.”
“Love is walking the dog when it’s below zero outside.”
There are so many ways to define love. So many ways of expressing it. What is love really and how are we to live it out in our relationships?
I decided to take a fresh look at the very basic definition of love offered by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7:
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.
Love rejoices in the truth.
Love always protects.
Love always trusts.
Love always hopes.
Love always perseveres.
Most of us have heard these verses quoted a million times. Be when we look at our relationships–with God and others–are we really living them out?
I don’t know about you but when I go down the list and evaluate my own life in light of this standard, I can’t help but feel sucker-punched in the side with conviction. Suddenly, it becomes so glaringly obvious how short I am falling!
No one expects us to be perfect right? God certainly knows we’ll never be able to love as perfectly as He did/does. But that doesn’t mean we stop trying. We can always ask for God to help us love others more fully, completely and selflessly as He intends us to. But we need His grace and the power of His Holy Spirit. Without them we will never get there.
Here is a challenge for us all this week: Continue meditating on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 line by line. Ask God:
-Where am I falling short?
-Do I need to ask forgiveness from any of my loved ones for not loving them according to Your standard?
-In what new ways can I show love to those around me?
-Who is in need of Your love this week and how can I show it?
May we all have a fresh revelation of what God’s love means and how that is to transfer over into our human relationships…