What is the definition of love? What does it mean to truly love someone? What is “Love” according to the Bible? What does the Bible really say about Love?
Before we ask these questions, let us first define what Love is so that we can have a standard for comparison.
What is Love?
The dictionary definition of Love is as follows:
1) A strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship. 2) A strong feeling of affection or caring towards another person. 3) An intense attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a sexual relationship. –Merriam Webster Dictionary
What I would like to do in this article, is to offer some insights into what love is according to the Bible. What I would like for you, the reader, to take away from this article is that the most important consideration in finding ” Love ” should be looking towards God ‘s direction. What does He say about how we are to treat one another? What does he command of his followers? What does He teach us so that we may better understand Him and His nature? What does He call us to do in order to love others well ?
After studying what the Bible says about love , I have come up with six points that outline just how serious it is when WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER .
1) Love seeks best interest of others (1 Corinthians 10:24-33, Romans 15:1-3). What does this mean? What makes you happy, or what is good for you? What benefits you the most in life ?? What do you need to survive and thrive ? What are your greatest weaknesses , needs, wants, desires , etc.? How can I love you like Christ loves us (John 13:34)? What would make your life better? What would help you grow spiritually ? When we seek the best interest of others , it means that we put their interests before our own at all times .
A great example of this is found in 1 Corinthians 10. Here Paul is giving some guidelines on how Christian community should act when they eat together. As he writes about eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols , he states the following:
24 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 25 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 26 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 27 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I am referring to the other person’s conscience , not yours . For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience ? 28 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness , why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
29 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God . 30 Do not cause anyone to stumble , whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – 31 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 32 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ . 
What this means is that we should always seek out what would benefit others before considering what’s best for ourselves. In other words… What would YOU want if YOU were them? What would make YOUR life better? What really makes YOU happy? What are YOUR greatest weaknesses , needs, wants, desires , etc.? What would help your life to grow spiritually ? What does your body really need? What do you LOVE the most?? What makes you come alive ? What is good for YOU?
If we can answer these questions for ourselves and others unconditionally , then this will manifest itself in loving God first (Matthew 22:34-40). When we love Him more than anything else in the world … our Love for others will naturally flow out of us. As Jim Elliot once stated… “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose .”
2) Love requires discipline. This point may seem a bit strange… especially considering the first point I made about loving others based off of their own personal interest. What I mean by disciplining love is that it will require some self-sacrifice on our part. What does this look like? What has God asked you to do for someone else ? What are some things that they need , but you don’t want to give them? What can YOU let go of in order to bless another person with? What would it take for you to be able to lay down your life for one another (John 15:12)?
A great example of this type of discipline is found in Romans 12. Here Paul states the following…
28 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 29 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 30 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
31 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber , because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed . 32 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here . So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light . 33 Let us behave decently , as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery , not in dissension and jealousy. 34 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ , and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
What this means is that we should strip away selfish motives from our hearts… What does it mean for you personally ? What’s going to make YOUR life better? What pleases YOU? What are you really seeking after deep down inside? What would be good for YOUR relationship with God right now?? What does your soul need ?
This requires a lot of discipline because we’re tempted to want things that we want , and think that we need to take care of ourselves in the process. What loving others unconditionally will do is cause us to be less selfish and more considerate towards one another. But… What if you really still think about yourself ? What if you REALLY want something for yourself ? What if it’s so important to you that there’s no way anyone could stop you from getting it? What would be good for YOU?? What would make YOUR life better?? What would help your relationship with God grow ??
When we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll realize that our hearts always long after what makes US happy . The problem lies not in what we truly want, but rather how WE go about getting it. This is why discipline is necessary in order to love others . What this means is that we should strip away selfish motives from our hearts… What does it mean for you personally ? What’s going to make YOUR life better? What pleases YOU? What are you really seeking after deep down inside? What would be good for YOUR relationship with God right now?? What does your soul need ?
It will require a lot of self-sacrifice on your part. What does this look like? What has God asked you to do for someone else ? What are some things that they need , but you don’t want to give them? What can YOU let go of in order to bless another person with? What would it take for you to be able to lay down your life for one another (John 15:12)? What disciplining love might require of us is the willingness to forsake our own immediate pleasure, wants, and needs in exchange for loving someone else unconditionally.
What disciplining love might require of us is the willingness to forsake our own immediate pleasure, wants, and needs in exchange for loving someone else unconditionally. What trying hard not to put others first will cause us to realize is that no matter how much we think about ourselves , it will never be enough. What this takes away from us is our perspective of what REAL love is, and puts some perspective onto the fact that there are some things that are more important than just US. What being willing to look past how someone treats you or their annoying habits will do for you is put your focus back on God . What loving others unconditionally does for us… What it gives us… What it takes away from our own selfishness… Is a stronger relationship with God. It causes us to try harder to love him ! What’s better even than that??
Do you have
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