What is Love?

As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, only one question seems appropriate for the occasion…

Many people have different definitions of what love is.  Some believe it’s just a warm, fuzzy feeling one gets when around someone, some believe it’s a desire one feels when they truly care for another, and some feel it’s just an emotion one gets when they’re attracted to someone physically.

All these ideas seem to be a part of what love is, but they don’t truly cut to the core of the matter.  For surely love is more than just a feeling?

Love

Thankfully, the Bible tells us what love is…

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 hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.–1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Most people (Christian or not) have heard these famous words, but do we truly comprehend them?  These verses don’t just describe what love is, but describe what we should aspire to be.  That’s to say if we were truly following God perfectly (which is impossible to do) these verses could more accurately read:

Brady is patient, Brady is kind.  Brady does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud.  He does not dishonor others, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs.  Brady does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Brady never fails.

Unfortunately, none of that is true.  In fact, the opposite is a more accurate depiction of who I am than what I just wrote.  I cannot be all of those things perfectly, because if I was, I’d be God!  For God is love.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.–1 John 4: 8

God proves His love for us through Jesus.  For if someone truly loves another, they willingly sacrifice themselves for the sake of the relationship.

Think about it, if you truly love your wife/girlfriend, don’t you sacrifice your time, money, and overall self to see to her well-being?  Think about your family.  Wouldn’t you do anything (even if it meant sacrificing yourself) to help them achieve their goals and to protect them from harm?  Think about your friends.  Don’t you sacrifice your time and energy to spend time with them?

Love requires sacrifice, and our relationship with God is no different.  God humbled Himself, came down to earth, and died on a cross due to His love for us!

Cross

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends.–John 15:3

This is one of the many reasons I’m convinced that Christianity is true.  When you look at all the other religions of the world, they either have a god who doesn’t love (we have to earn our way to heaven through our works without any love/sacrifice on their part) or they have no god at all (in essence you are the god of your life).

In Christianity, God loves us and desires all of us to be in relation with Him.  It’s a great thing to say, but for me, it goes even deeper than just saying it.  Everything inside of me shouts that love is right, and it’s proven true simply by applying it to everyday life…

Want better relationships?  Love the people you already know and be more loving to those you don’t.

Want a better job?  Love your job and the people you work with currently.

Want a better life?  Love the life you’re living now.

Love never fails, and neither does God.  There’s a reason they’re one in the same…

-BH

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