So let's talk about love. What do you think love is? Firstly, I believe and know that God is love. Like God's entire being is love, if you read the Bible, with your heart and mind open, you'll see so many acts of love from God. I've seen so much love in the Bible that I'm sometimes moved to tears.
Anyways, that's not the point of my post today. I want to talk about the love that we all discuss. You know, the love we have for each other and ourselves.
Personally, I believe that love is a decision, which in turn promotes feelings. I mean we feel infatuated, we feel lust, we feel desire etc, but I think love is a decision that promotes and is surrounded by these feelings depending on the type of love. For instance agape love, which is an unconditional love between "man" and God, or philia love, which is an affectionate love without romantic attraction etc.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 clearly defines love for me, it says; "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour 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.
This is love to me. It encapsulates and covers everything. You know why? cause love is doing. It's actions, you have to decide to love everyday, to be patient, to be kind etc.
I've seen that a lot of relationships suffer because people have claimed to love each other, but haven't shown love or acted in love. Is it really love if your actions don't show it? Is it really love if all you've done to prove your love is simply say it. The words "I love you" don't necessarily mean that the person loves you, or that you love the person.
I think it's so important that we understand what love is before we start to profess it and before we believe when people profess it to us. It's in understanding love that you're able to love, receive love and discern love from other things.
I've said this a few times and I still believe it. I can love someone and not like them. Cause God has called us to love and to show love to everyone. But I don't like everyone, I don't think it's possible for anyone to like everyone, but I do believe that it is possible for us to love everyone regardless of if we like them or not. This is because as I said earlier, love is a decision and it's a doing word. I also said love is 1 Corinthians 13 (i.e. patient, kind, long suffering etc). In essence, it means I have to be patient, be kind, be long suffering, not envious, not boastful, not self-seeking etc). So in order to love, I have to do all these things. I have to show the world these attributes and it has to be shown to every individual that I come across.
I have to be patient with everyone, I have to be kind to everyone, I must not be envious towards anybody, I need to be selfless, I must protect etc. And I must do this with everyone. Now if I say I love my friends, they must see all these attributes in me. This doesn't mean I won't fail sometimes or that I don't get envious, or selfish, it just means that the majority of my actions must show love for it to be counted as love. The people that love you will also make room for your faults while you grow to overcome them by loving you just as 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 says. So they'll also be patient with you, kind to you, selfless etc.
This is why I believe love isn't a feeling, because feelings wane and waver. Like, I've experienced it a few times where I'd like someone and eventually the feelings would die for no reason whatsoever. Feelings are fickle and they can leave and that's not what love is. Love always, it always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres. So in the midst of the struggles, arguments, weaknesses, frustrations, pain etc, love overcomes. Simply because you choose everyday to love. You have to choose to love. You have to choose to be selfless, to be kind etc. Is it really love if it's so easy to do? There are times when it'll be easy to love, but there are times when it'll be hard.
Look at Jesus and His sacrifice for us. I bet you Jesus didn't like everybody, just consider the number of times he called the people wicked etc. But I promise you that Jesus loved and still loves everyone, regardless of our actions and our thoughts. He has stayed loving us from the beginning of time, even though we've never deserved it. How do we know Jesus loves us? He has shown it to us, by giving His life for us. There's no greater show of love than the Jesus' sacrifice.
So please, let's learn to love; to be kind, to not envy, to not boast, to not be full of pride. To not dishonour others, to not be self-seeking, to not be easily angered, to keep no record of wrongs. to not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. To always protect, to always trust, to always hope and to always persevere.
So this time around, I want you to know, I am learning to love you, but God loves you completely.