Don’t you love the wisdom the Bible shares on all the things the world teaches us. Christian or not, there’s a lot of wisdom to take from the number one book in the world! There’s even wisdom to share on the factual definition of words that have sat in every dictionary around the world for everyone to learn from for several hundreds of years.

Take the word Love for example. The dictionary tell us that love is “an intense feeling of deep affection.” Then it will throw in a few synonyms to help us relate to that intense feeling, such as fondness, tenderness, intimacy, attachment, dote on, idolize, worship.

The Bible however tells us “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 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Well using myself as an example, I have definitely been a victim of the worlds teachings in the past, or perhaps the absence of complete teachings which is very common in the world today. My love was always based on feelings. I even idolized the people I loved, so you can imagine the disappointment when ‘my King’ was not tender, when ‘my King’ disappointed me in any way. That ‘feeling’ of love went straight out the window, while the world around me broke down as the the ‘Idol’ in my life whom I put my greatest admiration, respect, awe threw my world off track and threw me into a state of confusion. How could this perfect person be so cold, so mean, so impatient, so unkind. How could someone I chose as my idol and gave everything I have, hurt me so much!? The more days spent with the absence of love, the more I felt the love was gone and the only choice I eventually had was to find a new idol, to find someone new who can fill my world with this wonderful feeling love can bring, which I believe we all need!

Even God says in 1 Peter 4:8-10
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

So he’s obviously stating how important love is for our lives, yet he’s pointing the finger at US. He’s not telling us to find someone who will treat us this way, he’s telling us to BE this person. He’s also completely debunking the idea that love is based only on feelings.

So Love is actually a graceful/humble act shared with someone else because we choose to be an example of something better than our feelings alone.

A feelings based world as we have already seen, and continue to see everyday, can be a disastrous world of separation, war, envy, jealousy, and many others sins that can destroy our lives. That’s why the bible shares…

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

This verse is acknowledging already that we won’t always feel like being loving towards other people, yet it tells us to be loving despite our feelings.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

This verse is telling us to use our gifts as ‘Faithful Stewards’ of Gods grace. Faithful means steadfast, devoted, constant. So we don’t waver in our act based on feelings. And grace is a free unmerited favor, something we don’t necessarily deserve. So we can give love even if the person we give it too seems particularly hard to love at that moment in time.

Everything the Bible points us to about love, reminds us to be the example. To not love only when we ‘feel it’ but to commit to love others regardless of what they give us. We don’t only give someone a gift just because they give one to us after all! I think it’s actually nicer to be the first person to give someone a gift, just because, and not because we are expecting something in return.

So the fact (defined by the dictionary) that love is a feeling of tenderness intimacy and attachment, which yes it is something we feel. More than that, love is a commitment of Gods ultimate strength that makes him who he is. Anyone can give love when it’s easy, when it’s fun, when our feelings merge with the act of giving because we are already receiving this tenderness. But giving love only when it’s easy is a selfish act, something we give only when we have it ourselves. Love is more powerful than all evil! Love can change the world, yet the real change happens when it’s most hard to love. This makes it a selfless act and something that involves commitment. Something that pushes us to give this amazing act to others when it’s most hard to do. Only when we can be loving during the times it’s most hard, can we truly be an example of what love really is. Love is a commitment. It’s an act of choice. We give love regardless of our feelings to be an example of Gods grace, Gods passion, and His desire to lead more people to Him.

Wouldn’t you want to know what a persons ‘got’ when they continue to be kind even when we are not kind to them? Eventually we will ask the question, how? And then we will find God.

Love is patient
Love considers others differences as it helps people from where they are at, it doesn’t expect people to be just like us before they are teachable or before we are willing to communicate, with which this expectancy leads to impatience.

Love is kind
Love gives even when it’s hard to do. It cares more for others than our own feelings.

Love does not envy
Love does not compare, but trusts that we are exactly where God wants us to be and that we have everything we need in order to make the impact in the world that God designed for us.

Love does not boast
Love does not tell others when we have been loving. Love does not say hey! I’m loving, I did this for you which proves i’m loving! Love gives and then forgets.

Love is not proud
Love is given even when it’s hard to give. Even when our pride, our instinct, our feelings tell us to not give love. Love is not a childish act but a spiritual maturity, given when we know God and understand him.

Love does not dishonor others
Love lifts people up, it motivates, it respects, it does not lash out or bring others down. It accepts the uniqueness in each and everyone, and shows respect through acceptance.

Love is not self seeking
Love is a genuine desire to help others. It does not give while counting points or expecting something in return. It gives, forgets, then gives again.

Love is not easily angered
Love helps us forget the disappointments, the frustrations. Love sees past those things and gives despite how we feel.

Love keeps no record of wrong
Love does not keep a tab. It does not wait for a payment at anytime. It gives, forgets, gives again, forgets, gives again, forgets, gives again.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth

Love does not accept manipulation or evil temptations, but rather rebukes them and holds onto the wisdom of what can really help people in the world. Love rejoices in Gods word and where it will bring us when we actually follow his word.

Love always protects
Love wants to take care of The goodness in the world, of the people he has blessed our lives with.

Love always trusts
Love trusts in the word, and keeps seeking the truth to make better decisions and walk in his will.

Love always hopes
Love is hopeful, knowing Gods way can be different to ours or occasionally even painful, yet still following him, honoring him and giving thanks, knowing he is in control.

Love always perseveres
Love does not give up. It sticks to its commitments and keeps moving forward in the wisdom God shares. Love knows it’s a commitment, something given regardless of what the world gives to us. It knows to make a change for the better we must lead by example. By the example of LOVE.

The photo header to this story could give the impression that David and I are a good example of love, yet the truth is we are both often a terrible example. In fact just this morning we were arguing because we were both trying to prove ourselves to each other instead of loving and accepting the other person for who they are. When we remember love, we remember sacrifice, we remember that even experts (i’m not referring to us), need daily reminders as they will never know everything, and the God that loves is not a selfish God and we are accountable to him for every action, word and thought. We remember to humble ourselves to the point that we can give when it’s most difficult to do and that at those times the teaching are the greatest. To put pride and selfish desires aside reminding others of what it means to truly love, the way God loves us.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35