A Refresher Course On True Love
Recently I have been evaluating my beliefs about love and looking to see what does the Bible say about love. It is not so much that my beliefs were contrary to what the Bible said about love, but we all need a refresher course from time to time. So I thought I would just go ahead and post some reminders to all of us about what does the Bible say about love?
Love Is Not Focused On Self
True love, God’s agape love is not focused on what we get out of it. It is focused on what we can give. Do you remember the verse you learned in Sunday school? For God so loved the world that He gave…. This is true love. Love motivates you to give. In my own life I have had to learn this lesson the hard way. Early in my life I did not understand this and always looked at what I could get out of a situation or relationship. I was self-centered. Later I changed this by going through the process in a couple of relationships of dying to self. It was not easy but it taught me not only how to love God’s way, but also understand greater the heart of love that Jesus has for us. I experienced the same pain and rejection that He did. Not to the same degree, but the same type. It is easy to love when you get something in return, it is not so easy to love just because.
What Does the Bible Say About Love and Emotion
Jesus told us that we have 2 commandments as Christians.
The Great Commandment
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Now neither of these are done out of emotion. You can’t manufacture emotions. You love out of a choice of the will. Do you think Jesus had goose bumps and heart palpitations when He was hanging on the cross? Of course not! He chose to love us enough to die. Remember He said that greater love has no man than he lay down his life for his friends? (John 15:13) He made a conscious choice to love all of us.
The Bible Says That God is Love
1 John 4:8
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Do All Feelings Of Love Or Emotion Come From God?
Now that does not mean that all feelings or emotions of love come from God. Some of those emotions come from other sources such as natural attraction or infatuation or even lust. What the Bible says is that God is the model and source of true love. It says that we get our ability to love from God. It is born through a personal relationship with Jesus. When we have Jesus on the inside of us, then we have the love of God on the inside of us. The Bible says if we do not choose to love, then we are still walking in darkness but when we choose to walk in love, then we are walking in light.
Questions To Evaluate If You Are Loving With God’s Love
- Loving my brother and sister as myself?
- Giving of my time and talents to others without the expectation of return?
- Treating others with respect and dignity?
- Maintaining my heart and choice to love God?
I am not perfect and I readily admit some of these need work, but I also know that I have walked the extra mile with many people, including in some romantic relationships. I have given not only my coat but the shirt off my back. I have done my best and have no reason to hang my head. That is a huge improvement over the first half of my life. God is faithful. He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it. Not only in me, but in you as well.
Now that is something to think about!