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?
In my article I did on Love is Patient, Love is Kind, we see that 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. Love God and love your neighbor. 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? He made a conscious choice to love all of us.
The Bible says that God is love.
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.
So in my own life I had to evaluate if I have been walking in what God says about love. Have I been
- 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?