Love is a term that I believe is thrown around very loosely in today’s society. Generally speaking, people will say “I love you” and I can’t help but wonder, “Do you even know what that means?”
Love as determined by today’s society may be defined by a number of standards such as:
– The warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re around the other person
– Finding someone who agrees with you on life decisions
– Finding acceptance and gaining attention
– An emotional experience
– Attraction to someone physically
– An obligation
Although these are extremely generic, I do believe it gives you an idea as to why people have such a hard time with love. I will be the first to admit that I have spent the great majority of my life completely oblivious to what love really is. The Bible gives us a pretty good outline of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 which says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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 is patient. Am I patient? Love is kind. Am I kind? It does not envy? Am I jealous? It does not boast. Do I boast? It is not proud. Am I proud? It does not dishonor others. Do I honor those above me, beside me, and under me? It is not self-seeking. Am I more concerned about satisfying myself? It is not easily angered. Do I get angry quickly? It keeps no record of wrongs. Do I always try to remember the times I have been wronged so I can use it in my favor in the future? Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Am I more satisfied when others are wrong or do I look for the best in others? It always protects. Am I protective? It always trusts. Do I trust? It always hopes. Am I hopeful? It always perseveres. Will I endure all things?
So what have I learned about love? Love is not about me at all. Love is sacrificial. As a selfish person, I have always looked at love in a way that benefits me. I can honestly say that my life today is about giving, not receiving. “For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son.” It is my goal in life not just to say I love others, but to really love them. Love at all times and if necessary, use words.