Nearly halfway through the alphabet already! Today’s letter is L, and I thought we could look at Love. What is love? First of all, to clear up some common misunderstandings – loving someone doesn’t mean overlooking their faults, nor is the same as liking someone. It can’t possibly be – “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”! God did not “like” the world – there was nothing in the world that was likeable, and especially not to a holy God! Nothing but sin and rebellion against Him – which He did not overlook! No, He loved the world, despite the fact that there was nothing likeable in it. He simply wanted our best, our blessing, and He wanted to address our faults rather than overlook them. In order to bring that about, He gave the best He could give – His Son. So, what can we learn from how God showed His love?
- Love is unconditional – don’t look for likeable features, but simply desire the best for the person to whom you want to show Christian love.
- Love is not selfish – don’t focus on what you can gain, but give unselfishly, freely, gladly and the best. (As an added bonus, there will often be a response, but don’t make this the main focus!)
- Love cares – when you see the person you love go wrong somewhere, help them put this right. The saying goes that “love makes blind”, ignoring faults – but God’s love is not like that!
This is just a short summary, but there is a whole lot more to learn about love. For example, think about the statement that “God is love” (1 John 4). And there are many more features of love to be explored in 1 Corinthians 13 – so look them up and face the challenge!