How Do We Love?
This may be the most important question we could ask ourselves. The Scriptures are filled with verses that tell us the importance of understanding that we are loved by God and successively how to love people. Actually, our love walk – our expression of God’s love in and through our lives – is probably the single most necessary characteristic of our lives.
1 Corinthians 13 tells us that we could do the most phenomenal acts of sacrifice, kindness, and spirituality and yet if we don’t have love all of this is nothing. NOTHING! That’s an enormous void! We could have all of the displays of Christianity and without love being our underlying tone or motivation – it all means nothing. We often, in our zeal to exhibit the presence of God in our lives, determine to be the most spiritual, gifted, or deep person. If love is not present there is no profit, benefit, or true blessing.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Cor. 13:1-3 NKJV).
It is jarring to think that this is not an indictment against those outside of our belief system but to those who hold to functioning in the Spirit and displaying our Christianity through acts of service. Love should be the loudest voice speaking through our actions and activities. Are we being noted for our love? Is our love loud? Do people walk away from contact with us saying – “Man that person is so spiritual?” or “Wow, I felt so much love in what they were doing/saying.”
Knowledge can often lead to pride if we are not careful but love is the great builder!
“Yet mere] knowledge causes people to be puffed up (to bear themselves loftily and be proud), but love (affection and goodwill and benevolence) edifies and builds up and encourages one to grow [to his full stature]” (1 Cor. 8:1 AMP).
Another translation brings out even more contrast between what we know and how we love.
“But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church” (1 Cor. 8:1 NLT).
We cannot love correctly or sufficiently unless we understand and receive the love of God for ourselves. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). You see our love truly should mirror His. How does God love us? Unconditionally – without respect for our status – irrespective of our performance. He doesn’t love us because we have earned it or deserve it. But do we love like that? Do we love those in our lives who don’t deserve it? What about those that have mistreated us? The Scriptures instruct us to love our enemies (Matt.5:44).
Love must be our defining characteristic – our greatest expression. We are created to love and be loved. We must love, not only in theory, but in reality – the way He loves us. We must love profusely and lavishly, without reserve and without hesitation. We must love the way He loves us. He has poured His love into us (Rom. 5:5); God help us to pour it out to a world that is so in need of its demonstration.
Heavenly Father please help me to love like this. I want to be moved by Your love, not by how I feel or perceive people. Your love is what saved me – I want Your love to flow through me so others can know Who You are. Please refuel Your compassion in and through my life. In Jesus’ name…..