1. an intense feeling of deep affection
Often times I feel as though we misinterpret love. We look at it as this romantic, fuzzy feeling we get toward our significant other. WE look at love exactly how the dictionary defines it. (Especially during the month of February)
Those emotional highs we get for people are just that: highs. And what goes up must come down. Those fuzzy, feel-good feelings are temporary. Love is something more than that. The only way to fully grasp what love truly is would be to look at the life of Jesus.
It tells us in 1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
So what is this verse trying to tell us anyway? I have one word for you; sacrifice.
Jesus sacrificed His own life and was brutally beaten for you and for me. He sacrificed his dignity and his life for the sake of being able to spend eternity with us. Why? The answer is simple. It’s because He loves us. Now, I’m not saying that in order to show the love we need to lay down our lives tomorrow, but I do believe we are called to love sacrificially. There are many ways to do this, including your time, your money, and even your social status.
We can love our friends sacrificially by making time for them in our busy lives. I get it, life can be hectic and sometimes it seems like you can never get a break, but it’s important to take time out for the people you love. Maybe you have to skip that day at the mall to go visit with a hurting friend, give them a hug, and just tell them you’re there for them. Sometimes it’s the simplest form of sacrifice.
We can also show love this way with our finances, now I’m not saying you have to go full-on Mother Theresa here, it could be just giving up your nail appointment to go buy your mom that thing she’s really been wanting, or it could be as simple as tithing.
Social status is also a way for us to live sacrificially. Maybe there’s a person at your school or youth group who might not be the most popular, maybe they’re even a bit eccentric, maybe they just don’t fit in at all. You could be the person to go over and introduce yourself and maybe make a huge difference in their life at the expense of a few social points. There are so many ways to show love through sacrifice.
There are so many ways in general to show love; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says 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 wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres.
This verse gives us the clearest description of what love is.
Love is being patient. It’s being kind even if you don’t receive kindness in return. Love doesn’t get jealous of other people and what they might have. If we are really living out the love we won’t be conceited or boast about ourselves. Love never lies or gossips about somebody no matter how rude they might be. Love doesn’t tally up your wrongs and condemns you for them. Love is never happy when something bad happens, but it cheers when the truth is revealed.
Love protects those in need, and it truly trusts them. Love is hoping the best for someone even through disagreements. Love is persevering even in adversity. Love will never steer you the wrong way because;
LOVE NEVER FAILS.
I think through this life, I’ve learned that love is most sincerely a verb. It’s an action. It takes work to truly love someone despite faults and failures. That’s how God loves us.
That’s how we need to love others. In 1 John 4:12, it says No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
This concludes, even though we’ve never seen God, if we as Christians love others, the evidence of God’s perfect Love will shine through us.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”