by Marcus M
Going into the new year one of my desires was for the Lord to help me increase in love. However in order to do that, He would really have to show me what love truly is. What do we honestly think of when someone mentions the ‘L’ word? Depending on who you ask there can be sooo many different interpretations of what this word means. For some it’s an intense emotion for someone or something, for others it’s words of encouragement or your actions. Personally I lean towards the latter. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what I think it matters what God says. In order to grow in love we must submit to what the bible says pure love is. Before we get into what love is according to God and His Word, let’s look at what love is not according to the same standard.
The Love That Takes
Sometimes if we aren’t careful we can be deceived into believing that only having an intense feeling or desire for someone, whether it be a friend or romantic interest is equal to loving that person. Most of us understand that lust is a monster that cannot be satisfied. According to 1 John 2:16, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are the epitome of a wicked worldly mindset. See lust doesn’t stop at sexual desire, lust is simply selfishness at its core. I like to call it “the love that takes”, it occurs when you only love how a person makes you feel or the things that they do for you. Feelings are so deceptive, but if we are only focused on how a friend, loved one, or lover makes us feel we may be exercising the love that takes. 1 Corinthians 13:5 clearly states “love seekth not her own”. In other words love is not all about how we are benefiting from a relationship or friendship. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there isn’t a place for expectations from people especially regarding how you are treated and respected, however we have to make sure that the only reasons we want to be associated with a person isn’t because of what they can do for us.
This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you – John 15:12
Sacrificial Love is Biblical Love
In John chapter 15 Jesus challenges us with a different perspective on love. He says, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you” John 15:12. Did you get that? This commandment goes beyond the golden rule Jesus so rightfully gave to us in Luke 6:31 “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, but he states we are to love one another as I (JESUS) have loved you.” Now how did Jesus love us? He answers that in the very next verse John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus called us His friends and Jesus laid his life down for us to satisfy His Father’s need for a pure sacrifice and wash our sins away. He commands us to love each other this very same way. Laying your life down for someone else doesn’t always require physical death (although in some cases it may). It means being willing to put the needs of those you love even before your own (refer to Philippians 2:4). This kind of love isn’t based solely on our feelings this love is based on obedience powered by faith and true faith produces action. Jesus didn’t say that this kind of love was optional, the verse above is clearly a command. I admit that there are times when I just don’t feel like it, but God lol. Seriously the Holy Spirit can give us joy when loving/serving others. Love in its purest form is to sacrifice without expecting anything to benefit you in return. Sometimes I catch myself wondering, can we really truly love like this? The answer is not in our own strength, but with the Holy Spirit living inside us we can. I desire to grow more when it comes to biblical love, a love that isn’t keeping score nor is opportunistic, a love that desires to see the very best in the lives of the people next to me.
Love is patient, kind, generous, and long suffering. Perhaps most of all love is obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. I know I’ve missed some things. What do you all think? What is your definition of love? Also look out for Part 2 of this topic “When Love Corrects.”
P.S I just realized how much writing this post reminds me of this song I used to listen to a few years ago called “Real Love” by SPKRZT feat. Truth. Check it out!