What is love?
April 22, 2013
Is Spring finally here? Well this is Nevada so don't go planting your tomatoes yet. But the weather is beginning to turn, and with winter mostly behind us many a young heart is turning toward love. So love is the topic of this column.
Just what is love? Many have undertaken to explain it in poetry or song. Many have sought after love, still in our day it seems to be a bit elusive. I find when you want to know something you should consult an expert on that topic.
The Bible says: "God is love." And, "God demonstrated his love for us…" So perhaps God knows more about love than Hollywood or Nashville. The Bible actually speaks volumes about love and we certainly do not have room in this little article to cover all those scriptures but one stands out and I'll bet most of you know or have heard these scriptures.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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…"
Some call that "the greatest definition of love," but it's bigger than that, it's a wonderful picture of the heart of God. So this text should speak to the Christian of the work that God wants to do your in life, and the goal of how you are to show your faith to others.
The Apostle Paul starts with what love is. Simply two things. Patient, and kind. But neither patience nor kindness are what we would call "love feelings" rather they are virtues that love demonstrates by your actions. Both are dependent on another important attribute of love – self control.
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Next Paul tells us what love does not do. It has no envy or jealousy, it doesn't brag, and it's not proud in the sense lifting yourself above others, and love is not rude in words or deeds. He says "love is not self seeking," in other words love gives and serves, it's always looking for how to bless others, and not worried about "what's in it for me."
Next we see that love does not keep a record of wrongs. Forgiveness is a key element in any loving relationship and the example God gives is true forgiveness. God does not dredge up old sins, but forgives those who repent. Next he says love is truthful, trust is built when you wear truth around everything.
Finally, Paul tells us what love does. It's trustworthy, hopeful, and always hangs in there. The Bible has a lot more to say about love. Firstly, how God loved the world so much he did something about it, he sent Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world.
What is love? Is it a feeling you have? Or does it involve a commitment that you keep? True love is demonstrated by your actions, it's an act of your will.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of Carson Valley Ministers' Association.