What is love?
I’m going to address a few of the questions surrounding love and what love actually is. Once we have a clear understanding of what love is then it makes it easier to love others around us. I’m by no means an expert but I’ll give a little bit of insight based on what I’ve learnt or experienced.
For a long time, I struggled to understand what love actually is. Like many others, my perception of love was really wrong – I didn’t even perceive it as a good thing! Thankfully now that’s not the case – I love, love! During my first year in university, I joined a society and they shared the verse 1 John 4:16 where it states that God is love. That was the beginning of my journey to redefining love in my mind and heart! If I could begin to grasp what God’s love looks like then I would understand that what true love is.
Romans 8:1 reminded me that God’s love is not condemning. Yes, the Holy Spirit will tell us when we have done something wrong but it will not be condemnation, it will be a conviction! We can lean on God when we make mistakes and He is just to forgive us. That’s one thing that love is… forgiving. Even when Jesus was dying on the cross He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” (Luke 23:34). Forgiveness is so important and even when we do wrong, the Lord is ready to forgive us. Every… single… time! I don’t know about you but I’ve messed up and said sorry to God thousands of times. Each time I’m amazed that He cares enough to hear me and forgive me – AND THEN work intentionally on me to help me change the condition of my heart in that particular area.
Love is patient.
Anyone else find it hard to wait for things sometimes? Me too! As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realise that patience needs to be coupled with intentionality. One cannot simply just be patient! You have to be intentionally patient! Something that helped me is when I was listening to a sermon by Pastor Mike Todd earlier this year. He said that attached to every reveal is a release date. So if you know something is coming, there is a release date but we have to wait for it. Knowing this made the process of intentional patience a lot more hopeful – I went from what if… to when…
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.
Well… Even as I typed that I wanted to stop typing haha! “Endures through every circumstance…” which means you don’t run away from difficult situations and only stay for the good times. Which means you have to fight through the disagreements and make the decision to work together. Which means being intentional in loving in every single situation in life. When I think of my biggest pet-peeves and sitting there enduring it, I realise that actually this is very hard to do. What if that person continued even after I made them aware of it? Do I walk away or show them grace?
Let me give it some context. One of the things I find very annoying is sniffing when you could just use a tissue. I really dislike the sound and have often gone out my way to people tissues before – just so that they can blow their nose and stop making the sound. HA! But if I was on a 5 hour flight and there were no tissues on the plane but the person next to me kept sniffing, it would take EVERYTHING in me to not feel some annoyance towards them. But love says, yes that noise is annoying me but I’m going to rise above that and still love you. I’m going to look past the way I feel and show you love.
Love is sacrificial .
As in, you are willing (within context) to make sacrifices to show people you love them. For instance, work is super busy and you have so many deadlines the next day but you still take 10 minutes to help your friend out. Those 10 minutes, even though you are inundated with things to do, tell you friend/family member that you care about them deeply.
There is so much that love encompasses that I cannot do it justice in one simple blog post but I hope that this was insightful in some way. I took some of these points from 1 Corinthians 13 – a chapter, amongst many others in the Bible, that talks about love. If you have any contributions drop them in the comments section, I’d love to hear your views too!
Let’s be intentional in showing love this week!