Written by: Stacy Lowe
If you’ve turned on the news, spent any time on social media, or even just walked out the door recently, you’ve probably noticed we have a SERIOUS problem in this world. We seem to have forgotten how to love one another.
Oh, sure, we SAY the word all the time- “I love that new song on the radio!” or “I love pizza!” – but is that really what we mean? While we may enjoy those things, do we really love them? Have we used that word so much in relation to things that it’s lost all real meaning when it comes to people?
You see, I think “love” is one of the most OVERUSED words and UNDERUSED concepts there ever was. Love by the world’s definition is a superficial kind of love that only loves when there is something to get in return, when it feels good to the one claiming it. When things get tough or our feelings change, though, the world gives us permission to walk away.
But since God is the author of all truth and the source of real love, the way we love should be based on His wisdom, not the distorted perspective of the world’s.
The world says to love our friends. But God says we are to also love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
The world says to love if it fits our agenda. But God says without love, we are nothing.
The world says to look after our own interests first. But God says in humility we are to consider others above ourselves. He says we are to love others in the same way He has loved us.
And that greatest love of all came wrapped in the most unexpected package- a tiny baby boy in a young girl’s arms- a baby boy who would one day grow up to take on the sins of a hostile, unbelieving world and die on a cross, all so we could be reconciled with God once again. THAT is the very definition of love.
So how are you measuring up to His standard? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a provides a litmus test:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor 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. Love never fails.”
Be brave and ask yourself: Am I loving like THAT? In this moment, am I modeling the world’s cheap imitation of love or the Author’s real deal original?
This world could be changed by our love, but only if we’ll choose to do it. Even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts. Even when the world says we don’t have to. Will you choose to love?
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13
Stacy is a sign language interpreter from Virginia Beach, Virginia. She also does photography on the side. She serves with Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies as a member of the teaching team and as the conference community team leader. She loves to read and write and spend time with her family and friends. Her goal each day is to find practical ways to love others and considers her day a success if she has made at least one person smile.