Monday, March 16, 2015

Love Defined

Love.  The primary essence of the word "love" is revealed to us with a powerful definition that means 'a purposeful commitment to sacrificial action for another'.  In the Bible, it is a fact that loving God is equated with obeying His Word.  The two are inseparable.

  In our day, most define love as some type of feeling. We "fall in love". . . or two people meet and it is "love at first sight".  But the world's love is a selfish kind of love: 'If you are attractive to me, be nice to me, meet my needs and love me, and I, in return will "love" you.'  
  The world's love is based on getting something from someone else.  The world does not give love where it does not benefit themselves.  'If you do not please me, then I have no love for you.'  Thus for the world, love must be earned by making someone else feel good.

  Powerful emotions may accompany love, but it is the commitment of the will that holds true biblical love steadfast and unchanging.  Emotions may change, but a commitment to love in a biblical manner endures and is the hallmark of a disciple of Christ.  Sadly, the opposite is also true.
  Emotions will vary, but a commitment which has its basis in biblical love will not be affected by the whelm of emotion or of one's circumstances.

  Our example of true love is shown in God's love for the sinner.  Romans 5:8 says "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." 

  The lost sinner living in rebellion and sin is still loved by the Lord.  He loved us enough to die for us and pay our sin debt while we were sinning against Him.  This shows that true biblical love is a matter of will, not of emotion.  God chose to love us and His love was not based on our meriting it in any way.

 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 is called the love discourse.  It is a comparison of love vs. the selfishness of seeking "gifts."  Many miss the context of this passage.  Paul was addressing the selfishness of the Corinthians in their seeking to obtain gifts of the Spirit that would draw attention to themselves.  These misguided individuals were seeking to be "seen" rather than to serve God.  Paul was saying that their seeking gifts from God was not motivated by love of God, or, of love of others.

  By the way dear friend, nothing has changed in that area. . . it is still going on today in spite of Paul's strong explanation of the matter.

What is Love?

LOVE is patient. (long suffering)  Love bears pain or trails without complaint, shows forbearance under provocation or strain, and is steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity.

LOVE is kind.  Even when you want to retaliate physically or tear down another with your words.  Love is sympathetic, considerate, gentle and agreeable.

LOVE is not jealous. (envieth not)  Especially when you are aware that others are being noticed more than you.  Love does not participate in rivalry, is not hostile toward one believed to enjoy an advantage, and is not suspicious.  Love works for the welfare and good of the other.

LOVE does not brag. (vaunteth not itself)  Even when you want to tell the world about your accomplishments.  Love does not flaunt itself boastfully and does not engage in self-glorification.  Instead, love lifts and builds up others.

LOVE is not arrogant. (is not puffed up)  Even when you think you are right and others are wrong.  Love does not assert itself or become overbearing in dealing with others.

LOVE does not act unbecomingly. (does not behave seemly)  Even when being boastful, rude or overbearing will get you attention and allow you to get your own way.  Love conforms to what is right, fitting and appropriate to the situation in order to honor the Lord.

LOVE does not seek its own.  Biblical love is not selfish and self seeking.  True love does not try to fulfill its own desires, does not ask for its own way, and does not try to acquire gain for itself.  Love, is an act of the will, which seeks to serve and not be served.

LOVE is not provoked.  Even when others attempt to provoke you or you are tempted to strike out at something or someone.  Love is not aroused or incited to outbursts of anger.  Love continues faithfully and gently to train others in righteousness, even when they fail.

LOVE does not take into account a wrong suffered. (thinketh no evil)  Even when everyone seems to be against you or when people openly attack you.  Love does not hold a grudge against someone.  Love forgives, chooses not to bring up past wrongs in accusation or retaliation, does not return evil for evil, and does not indulge in self pity.  Love covers a multitude of sins.

LOVE does not rejoice in unrighteousness. (rejoiceth not in iniquity)  Even when it seems like a misfortune was exactly what the other person deserved.  Love mourns over sin, its effects and the pain which results from living in a fallen world.  Love seeks to reconcile others with the Lord.

LOVE rejoices with the truth.  Even when it is easier and more profitable materially to lie.  Love is joyful when truth is known, even when it may lead to adverse circumstances, reviling and persecution.

LOVE bears all things.  Even when disappointments seem overwhelming.  Love is tolerant, endures with others who are difficult to understand or deal with, and has an eternal perspective in difficulties.  Love remembers that God develops spiritual maturity through difficult circumstances.

LOVE believes all things.  Even when other's actions are ambiguous and you feel like not trusting anyone.  Love accepts trustfully, does not judge people's motives, and believes others until facts prove otherwise.  Even when facts prove that the other person is untrustworthy, love seeks to help restore the other to trustworthiness.

LOVE hopes all things.  Even when nothing appears to be going right.  Love expects fulfillment of God's plan and anticipates the best for the other person.  Love confidently entrusts others to the Lord to do His sovereign and perfect will in their lives.

LOVE endures all things. This is one of the hardest to practice.  Especially when you think you just can't endure the people or circumstances in your life.  Love remains steadfast under suffering or hardship without yielding and returns good while undergoing trials.

LOVE never fails.  Even when you feel overwhelmed and the situation seems hopeless.  Love will not crumble under pressure or difficulties.  Love remains selflessly faithful even to the point of death.


 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; 
and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
1 John 4:7

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, Cryslyn! I enjoyed it. You have a good understanding of the love of God.

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    1. Thank you, Bethany! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  2. Great post. You have my understanding also. Thank you for the Godly wisdom of His love versus mankinds. Look forward to reading more. God bless

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! :)

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  3. This is a great post Cryslyn! :) You articulated everything well. It is so encouraging to see a fellow young woman who has become aware of how the Lord would have us to love. Pursuing true love is something that has been a focus in my life for the past few months, so seeing this is extra encouragement to keep fighting the good fight.

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    1. Aww well thank you so much, Paige! I appreciate the kind words. :)

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