By Josh Kerby
What is Love? We define it as a strong affection for one another. This is true, but I don’t think this definition truly explains what love actually is. This definition is something that we have come up with that fits inside what we are capable of expressing. True love is so much more than a strong affection for someone. True love is what we call unconditional love. We can’t express true love. We have lowered its standards and made a new definition that exceeds what we can express. Because of this, we only try to attain the level of strong affection and never try to love truly, unconditionally.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8
To love at all, we need to know God. Knowing God is the first step to loving people. We need to see the world through God’s eyes and not our own. We see the world in parts. Our sin has tainted the way we see things and twisted our thoughts to be hateful. Only through God can we begin to love genuinely. We can show strong affection towards others without God, but we can’t actually love them. Only through a relationship with God can we build relationships with others in love.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3:16
God sent His only Son to die for you. He died for everyone, even those who hate Him and persecute Him. Do you think you could willingly lay down your life for someone who has hurt you your entire life? Not only during your life, but before you were born? What if it was for someone you knew would continue to hate you after you died for them? That’s what Jesus did. That’s what love is. This is far greater than strong affection for people. This love is reckless, it doesn’t make sense, and it surpasses what we think it should be. This love is unconditional. Jesus loved everyone without any gain for Himself. He loved others to the point of death. He loved so that everyone could experience the Grace of God. I don’t think we can ever reach this love, but we can certainly try. If we stop trying to love people to the point of strong affection and start trying to love like Jesus, we will far surpass strong affection.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” – 1 John 4:7
If you want to truly love people, you must first seek God. Only through God can true love flow. If you want to love people unconditionally, you need first to surrender yourself to God. We can’t give our life to someone in love if we can’t surrender our lives to God. As we seek God, our love for others will grow naturally. As our hearts align with God’s, so will our love for others. Loving God must be at the forefront of our minds, and loving others will follow. Surrender yourself to God this week. Surrender your heart and ask Him how to love. If you seek God earnestly, He will answer.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
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