What Is Love?   5 comments

What is love? How do I show it to my loved ones? Given that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, this seems like a very appropriate topic.

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Love is a mystery because it isn’t just one thing. Is it an emotion? Is it action? Is it a mixture of both? People with a scientific mind sometimes explain all the feelings involved by proclaiming that love is simply a chemical reaction in our brains and is therefore nothing truly real—just a random byproduct of human brain chemistry developed through millions of years of human evolution.

As a Christian, I take my definition mostly from Scripture, where I learn that love is not solely an emotion and not solely an action, but that it is the Christian lifestyle.

In John 13:34-35 Jesus commanded Christians:

I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one anotherEveryone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.

This wasn’t a random comment. Jesus told his disciples to “love one another” three times. Obviously Jesus was stressing something of high importance. When we think of the word “love,” even in the Christian sense, we think of it as being accompanied by that “warm, fuzzy” feeling. I personally don’t feel that warm, fuzzy feeling with every single person I meet, whether they’re Christian or not. So does that mean love is absent? Absolutely not. This is because Christian love is not a feeling; although strong feelings can be involved. It’s a lifestyle.

A Pharisee once asked Jesus what the greatest command was, to which He replied:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 46  22:38 This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-39).

Similar to this, Jesus said:

In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets.(Matthew 7:12)

This is where we get the cliché, “Treat others how you want to be treated,” also repeated in Luke 6:31.

Paul the apostle wrote:

Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For the commandments,Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,(and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this,Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8-10).

Because I wouldn’t want someone to commit adultery with my husband, I choose not to commit adultery … not just with my body, but also with my mind. Because I want other women not to lust after my husband, I work strenuously to not allow lust for anyone other than Brad to enter my mind. That means I don’t read erotica, as one example of a broader application. Similarly, I wouldn’t want someone to murder one of my loved ones, so I don’t intend to murder anyone. I would not want anyone to steal from me, so I don’t steal from others.

WebA more concrete definition of how we love people as Christians comes from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed upIt is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This passage is the cliché of all weddings, which I believe is the primary reason why people mistake this passage as delineating human love in the romantic sense. Paul was talking about Christ-like love, not romance, but we can still use this passage as a guideline to love our significant other, so long as we recognize that it’s describing Christ-like love, not solely a romantic love.

It’s easy to do things for people by just going through the motions or out of obligation, but if you don’t love what you’re doing it for the benefit of that person and for the glory of God, then it means nothing. We aren’t expected to be 100% perfect in this First Corinthians list, but it has been given to us as a guideline on how to love others as Christ does. We ought to pray that Christ empower us to love in these ways to the best of our ability.

 

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Posted February 13, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop, Uncategorized

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5 responses to “What Is Love?

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  1. Hi! We definitely have similar beliefs around the concept of love–what it is, its importance and significance to us in our relationships.

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  2. I believe that experiencing any kind of love opens us to the other kinds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes I fully agree with the ‘do as you would be done by’ philosophy. If only everybody would adhere to this!

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  4. I agree with your comments about Love Lela. I struggle as a human to love all others as life has somewhat jaded me. This is a good reminder for me to try harder!

    Like

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