What is Love?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud” (1 Corinthians 13:4).

Love is a word people often use to describe how they feel towards something or someone on a daily basis. I often say things like “I love to sleep past 10 am” or “I love eating Taco Bell during late nights with my friends.” Of course when I say these things I’m describing my reaction to what makes me feel happy. You would never hear me claim my affection for Taco Bell by speaking about it throughout the day. It’s just a fast food company I like, not something that I’m totally devoted to speaking about and eating every night. If I did you might as well call me a taco-craving lunatic, who needs to refrain from consistently buying the $5 box meal from the menu! Also, I don’t always have a craving for Taco Bell! If love never changes, then maybe the way we interpret it needs to be reevaluated.

In actuality love is so much deeper than a feeling or way of describing how you feel. I have heard the definition of love best explained as “compassion put into action.” The Apostle Paul explains what love isn’t vs what it is in 1 Corinthians 13. It is recognized as actions and reactions that embody certain fruit of the Spirit and godly characteristics. If anyone knew the power and transformation received through love, Paul knew it better than most. He was changed by love, that being found in the very person of Jesus Christ. This love broke the boundaries of feelings for Paul. It became a devoted way of living, being the very reason he found joy while being in chains. Love found in Jesus Christ is what stopped a man who used to kill Christians for sport during his travels on the road to Damascus, and brought him into a reality in which his desire to follow God was more desirable than life itself.

One of Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion helps elaborate on the meaning of love when saying that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” As a believer an upward action is received from God, the very things He has done in your heart and life since your acceptance of His Son. From that action, you react in a way different than the norm of the world by how you speak and think on a daily basis. While at the same time, an opposite reaction comes from those who have yet to accept this love. By acceptance of Christ in one’s life, you hold the power of the Holy Spirit within you, who brings about a transformation of life and hope, while at the same time shakes the very gates of Hell. The world is waiting to be loved. It is desperate for an exchange of common misinterpreted affection for temporal things for an absolute truth that is constant and never changing. May you grasp the love of Christ, which has conquered the grave and has brought you into redemption with the Lord of Lords.

Think: How have you defined love in the past? Do you act by how you feel or out of God’s love for you?

Pray: Jesus show me how to be transformed by your love. Forgive me when I don’t love like you do. Thank you for loving me unconditionally, in your name I pray amen.

Apply: Allow the Holy Spirit to show you what is love and what isn’t. Study these verses and commit them to memory in your head and heart. Strive to be patient and kind because of God’s love for you.

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