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What Exactly is Christian Love ?

Updated on April 3, 2013
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Some Biblical Scholars argue that "Christian Love" is that unconditional love which describes God's love for all human beings, irrespective of color, class or creed. It's the dignity of being loved by God despite all human failure and sins. It's completely unique and distinct from all other love, such as eros, love characterized by desire, attraction or need. It's that type of love that God has for all Human Beings --- the love that provides the source and standards of loving in history.

Because God's love is believed to serve as the general criteria of Christian love, it's important that we understand the standards of God's love. First, in order for us to follow the standards of loving set by God, we have to be perfect as God, that is: having a sincere love for all mankind that transcends all boundaries. For example, in John 3:16, the extent of God's love is expressed in the most radical form,"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Despite the fact that human beings were sinners, the Creator took the initiative of sending his "only son" to redeem us of all our sins. For a person to sacrifice the life of his only child just to save the lives of all mankind, is considered the greatest love of all. How many of us would be willing to sacrifice our lives for another person?

Some view Christian love as self-giving, and overflowing as the love of God. They believe this type of love does not seek to question what the object worth, and is not concerned with the love-value of men.

According to one writer, Christian love is overflowing as the love of God - it has no boundaries, there is no holding back; It's a love that flows freely. There's no partiality or discrimination as to who is being loved. It's a state where all distinctions are being removed. We should not help or show love to others simply because of an intent to dominate, but from a dutiful concern for the interests of others; not with pride in taking precedence over others, but with compassion in taking care of others.

Conclusion

To summarize, based on all the above arguments, the key point is that Christian love requires loving like God himself -- unconditionally and without reservation. It involves loving everyone, making whatever sacrifices wherever necessary, so as to fulfill the needs of all men who are in need, irrespective of color, class, or creed. You should also bear in mind that the extent to which you love your beloved(spouse/significant other), doesn't necessarily mean you are emulating God, unless you love everyone equally and in the same manner, because with God there is no partiality --- everyone is treated equally!

Whether Christian or non-Christian, it appears as if human-beings were all evolved with a natural tendency to love and to be most generous only to the people who mean a lot to them, and also to others who are more likely to return a favor in the future. This prompts me to believe that in our society today, it's almost impossible for mankind to demonstrate Christian love - that unconditional and ideal state of love required by God. This utopia is one that can never be achieved!



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    • Ore N. Mavro profile image

      Ore N. Mavro 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Agreed. :]

    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      The bottom line is:We sure have a lot of work to do as a society! However, as individuals, we can start playing our part by doing whatever we can to promote love! Some good places to begin are within our homes, churches, on our jobs etc.

    • Ore N. Mavro profile image

      Ore N. Mavro 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I think the unwillingness comes in part from society and its ability to both influence and drag down an individual. It makes the incentive almost nil, to most. People also get the wrong idea about Love and Forgiveness. They see some caricature of a Hippy, or a the Dali Lama.

      yeah...forgiveness is something I've been working on within the past couple of years. I learned that eventually I really sucked at it, after I got fed up with continually letting things slide. Kinda went to a whole other extreme. That actually was another point I was going to make...it seems like we've got the tendency to go to extremes, nowadays. In lots of things.

    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      I do believe in forgiveness, in fact, this is something I have been practicing over the years, but one thing I do know, I am unable to love unconditionally!

    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      You have raised a rather interesting point when you said"If people were to truly apply the principles of not just "Christian" love but the love that was expressed and encouraged."

      Because people are unwilling to apply these principles, this could be one of the reasons they are not going to love unconditionally. Other possible reasons could be the materialistic and competitive society that we are living in or could it be that human beings have evolved over the years to be altruistic? This I really don't know.

    • Ore N. Mavro profile image

      Ore N. Mavro 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I think one part of it is, that people aren't freely sharing knowledge. We also get into pissing contests and squabbles, so instead of explaining our points (whatever creed or non-creed) and stances, we end up in arguments and say things we don't mean, and shouldn't say and make the contentions even more deep-seated. Factor in people with personal biases that they introduce or project upon whatever creed or non-creed they're part of and we've got a recipe for hatred til we all end up annihilating each other.

      We can't love each other conditionally. You're right. We're imperfect. But we can definitely forgive each other "up to 77" times. At least.

    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      I do understand your point Lefebvre,it's just what it is! What bothers me even more, is the fact that although some people make the choice to become Christians,they are still incapable of showing that unconditional love to all their fellow human-beings. This goes to prove my point that this is something we all lack - the ability to love unconditionally.

    • profile image

      R. J. Lefebvre 

      6 years ago

      mackyi,

      Its hard to accept, all the creed variations cannot get along with each other, let alone an outsider which should include athiest's.

      Ronnie

    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      It's not that I wouldn't like to see that type of love finally existing amongst us, but I have been waiting a very long time for this to happen but to no avail, instead it's getting worse. We are capable of loving, because God shows us how to love! However,the question is, can we love unconditionally?

    • Ore N. Mavro profile image

      Ore N. Mavro 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I know what you mean. haha I can't even check my mail or go on a website without seeing some new thing in the news that further proves your point. But I feel deep down inside that even that is part of why we're stuck in a mindset. We're convinced of what is true or possible and go along with a false flow.

    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      I truly value your opinion Mavro! I base my conclusion, merely on what I have been seeing, hearing and constantly experiencing over the years. Even today, as I speak, the situation seems to be getting worse. We are now living in a world where nation seems to be rising up against nation,neighborhood men and women killing each other; children against parents, wives against husbands, and the list goes on. Currently, I don't see anyone loving another human-being like the way God loves us - unconditionally!

    • Ore N. Mavro profile image

      Ore N. Mavro 

      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I don't think that it's impossible. It's simple. Easy? No. We've got plenty of things in our way. We live in a materialistic, competitive society. Everything is based on winning and money. But if people were to truly apply the principles of not just "Christian" love but the love that was expressed and encouraged in ALL ancient spiritual texts (because no, this isn't solely attributed to Christians, it's just expressed via their framing therefore we miss the true point at the core)-- it's possible even in such a society such as this.

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