Love is used so flippantly. “I love chocolate.” “I love your dress!” “I love the beach.” Love, love, love–what does it really mean and how can we truly love?
The dictionary defines love as “a strong feeling towards a person or an object.” The Bible’s definition differs from Mr. Webster’s point of view, however. 1 Corinthians 13:7 defines real love:
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others, isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.”
Real love does not sound as easy as the statements mentioned above! Real love takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Real love is not a feeling. Feelings can deceive us and lead us away from what is good for us. I may feel like eating a cookie, but cookies are not healthy for my body. I may not feel like studying for a test, but if I don’t I will not get a good grade. Do you see what I mean? Feelings are misleading and not concrete. God’s Word will always lead us in the right direction and will never change. Real love is a choice to point to Jesus in everything we do. Real love can only be demonstrated by a genuine heart. Romans 12:9-10 says, “Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.”
Real love cannot be faked. Let’s be honest here, people know when you are not being genuine. You can smell a faker from miles away. Fake love is far from real love. Fake love reaches out to others when it is convenient or opportune. Fake love glorifies self rather than focusing on reaching others. Real love isn’t easy, but its results are definitely worth it. God has been re-shaping my views on the little word “love” that changes our lives in so many ways. Love isn’t about romance, flowers, Valentine’s Day, or chocolate. Love is about lifting Jesus’ Name higher. Yes, there is such a thing a romance and there is a holiday centered around this, but God’s version of love is different–it is a real kind of love. A love that never fades. A love that never dies (1 Corinthians 13:8).