Love. The word alone makes me want to burst into song. I enjoy the one by Frank Sinatra.
“L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore.”
Often, the first thought that comes to my mind regarding love is a romantic one. It is the kind where two people just adore each other and want to spend every moment together. I suppose this would come as no surprise seeing as I recently got married (insert your version of total cheeseball, giddy, girly, smile here). We know, of course, that is not the only kind of love. There are many opinions of what the word means, some self-serving, some feelings-driven, and some divine. I took a poll on Instagram, asking people what love meant to them (unashamed millennial here). Some of the responses are listed below. Please note, these are from both Christ-followers and non-believers.
“Compromise, tolerance, and patience.”
“Something or someone that you cannot stop craving.”
“When someone genuinely cares about you, and you care about them too.”
“Willingly dying to yourself for someone or something else.”
“Sacrifice and devotion.”
“I can’t describe it, but I can feel it!”
“Serving someone where they are at without any agenda.”
“God. He is love.”
Often times, myself included, we get confused with that true love is. Good thing for us, as Christians, we do not have to guess; the Bible is full of examples of true godly love.
John writes, “For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another”(1 John 3:11 NIV).
Sometimes love means graciously giving news or guidance that others do not want to hear. Paul writes, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently” (Galatians 6:1 NIV).
Sometimes love is forgiveness when you just do not want to forgive (Ouch, this one is personal!). Paul also writes, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13 NIV).
If you are a believer and claim to follow Jesus, there will be evidence by the way you love and live! John adds, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him” (1 John 3:14-15 NIV).
Do not live a life of death. Choose love. Lord, help us choose true, godly love, even when we do not want to.