Have you ever noticed how often we use the word love? On a typical day, I am sure I express my love for someone or something dozens of times. It’s interesting to think about how we use the word love to describe our feelings towards so many different things.
For example, I love ice cream, and I love my beautiful wife and three kids. I love the smell of coffee in the morning, and I love sitting on my porch watching sunsets. I love our church, and I love cake. Of course, the love I have for my family is so much deeper than my love for cake, but so often I use the same word to describe my feelings for both.
Considering how often we use the word love, I think it is fair to ask whether or not we truly understand what love is. During a quick internet search, I found a few different definitions for love.
- Love (n) – an intense emotion or feeling of deep affection (Oxford dictionary)
- Love (n) – a tender and passionate affection for another person (Word Reference)
- Love (n) – giving someone the last piece of cake, no matter how much you want it. (Pinterest. Does that count?)
That last one is pretty funny, but I think there is a profound truth hidden within it. You see, love is much more than just an emotion or feeling you have towards something or someone. Love is active. And according to the Scripture, love always requires sacrifice.
1 Corinthians 13 is known as “the love chapter” because it gives some beautiful characteristics of true, selfless love.
“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.” (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
Passages like this give us a great glimpse of what love looks like, but there is another example of love that I think gives us an even greater picture of love. In Romans we are told, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
God’s love for you and me was demonstrated by His pursuit of us when we were running from Him. He loved us, even though we were unlovable. He lavished His grace on us, even though we were not deserving of it. God demonstrated His love by sending Jesus! He came as the perfect sacrifice and did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves. He gave up His life so that we could have eternal, abundant life in Him. Now that is an amazing display of love.