What Is It To Love?
In my previous post, 3 kinds of love, I talked about the different kinds of love, but I wanted to specifically talk
about this "Love" that we are always hearing about in the bible, because for so long I had
the wrong idea about it, and I believe that today in our society we view
love different then we should. I want to break down this agape love that we are commanded to give so that it can make better sense to you. This is something that some of us have to try hard at, it doesnt come easy. Because we are commanded to love even our enemies. I remember when I used to read that in the bible, and it would frustrate me so because I didnt know how I was supposed to make myself feel something for someone, when I couldnt even stand to be in the same room with them!? I have come to realize that this isnt a feeling that we are commanded to have because you cant command someone to feel a certain way but, its a set of actions and behaviors that we are to bless others with. The scripture below describes to us, what all actions are involved and should be offered, especially to the unlovable. Check it out;
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV).Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails
This is such a beautiful scripture. I want to break this scripture down for you so that I can show you in detail what each of these things mean.
- Love is Patient- All my life I was advised to NEVER pray for patience, because in doing this you are sure to get stuck behind every tractor out on the road that day, or suffer in some sense. So my perception of this scared me enough to NEVER pray for patience . BUT by digging deeper into the word and doing a little more research I have come to see that patience in this context means endurance, or so Beth Moore says, "a person that is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so." Putting effort towards that sounds a little more appealing then putting effort into some longsuffering!
- Love is kind-To be kind is to be useful. To open a door for someone, or to do something that lightens someones load, or something as simple as a smile to brighten a persons day. Gosh, wouldn't you agree that even being patient with someone is being kind?
- It does not envy- Wanting something that someone else has, or wishing they were more like that other person in a sense.or as strong;s concordance defines it: The feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others;
- it does not boast- Haughty(arrogant)
speech which stirs up strife or hard feelings by others. Im sure that
we have all, at one time or another, been boastful about something that
we have done, or something that we have.
- it's not proud-You know, got the big head, thinking your all that and then some. Puffed up... I think you get the point
- It's not rude-Unbecoming,
lacking in refinement or grace. Oh we can find all sorts of ways to be
rude, whether it be cutting in while someone else is talking, or telling
someone to shut up, aggressive driving, dressing inappropriately,
disturbing others, or well... I think you get my point. We all know what
- Its not self seeking-We aren't supposed to put ourselves first, we are to put others first. Eros is a self seeking love. 2 Timothy 3:2 Talks about people being lovers of themselves in the last days.
- It Is not easily angered-Well the fact that agape love is not self seeking has a great impact on its ability to be slow to anger. Much of our anger comes from not getting things we want or I like what the scripture in James 4 says; What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it, so you kill and covet....
- Keeps no record of wrongs-Wooh,
this is a tough one! Especially for us ladies! I mean seriously when
it comes to remembering things, we seem to have that down to a "T" I
might not be able to tell you what I wore yesterday but I could tell you
something that my husband did to upset me 2 years ago, and find someway
to bring it up in a disagreement we might be having. No, we dont keep
score. We are to be fast forgiving. Romans 12:19 Tells us that, Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.
- Doesnt Delight in Evil- or maybe this makes more sense, finds no pleasure in injustice done to others.
- Always Protects-This is not meant in a physical sense so much as meaning, Dont expose someones faults to others. For example, lets say your friend tells you something in private, you two get in a fight, and then you decide you are going to go tell her business, that she in trusted you with. That's what we SHOULDNT do. That's what it means by "always protects".
- Always Trusts-What This means is Love always trusts because love does not see the darkness causing mistrust. Love is willing to invest fully in every person because love knows even in defeat and personal disappointment there is victory when love reigns.Put aside the skepticism from past disappointments. God wont let you down, if you obey his command and love by trusting.
- Always Hopes-Think about someone that always made you feel like you were a good person. My grandma always made me feel like she had hope in me, always expecting good from me, always looking for the good in me. Hope is being able to see the possible in impossible circumstances, Not limiting someone with your expectations, not expecting that person to fall.
- Always Preserves-This means, to remain under, or to hang in there even when times get tough, to push through till the end and not run out when things get hard or don't "feel good" anymore.
- Love never fails-It might be rejected, it might give you pain, but that doesn't make it any less valuable or rewarding to your soul. We will be known by our love. The love that we offer impacts not only the one that we are giving it to, but it will impact our heart as well. The most important part of it all is to see that with love you can never fail. Love is Never a waste, none of these things that you do will ever be in vain or without effect, God promises us that.
So I know you are
probably thinking, OK I'll never be able to pull this love business off,
but Here's the thing. None of this is easy. And we cant do it on our
own. No matter how hard we try, we cannot exercise this kind of love,
we cannot love the unlovely, we cannot love those who don't not love us,
we cannot love those who have hurt us. Agape is divine love. Its only
origin is the heart of God. Agape is the love of God expressed through
us to others.
Loving isn't just a suggestion its the very command on which all other commands are based. Without love we as believers have nothing. Love is an expression of faith. We are called to do this, even if the person we are loving never returns our affection. By loving others we are a bridge to God in a dying world. I hope that you can see now, how Love is more of a behavior and a set of actions rather then just a lot of feelings. I hope that this explains to you the true meaning of what Love really is and that these things that I have showed you will put you on the path of learning how to love others the way that God asks us to.
Read my related entry on Rejection in Love