We can’t love at all unless we know who God is and God’s ways of love. Love is not a feeling, that warm fuzzy gives me goose bumps makes me feel good feeling. The world will tell you love is God, but the bible says God is love, that takes all the warm fuzzy feel good feelings out of it. It goes deeper than our feelings, because our feelings are centered on ourselves. Our feelings are our “first responders” so to speak to things that happen to us in this world, whether good or bad. But we as Christ followers have to go beyond our first response and look at how God would respond. We can’t do that if we don’t know His character. In 1 John 4:8 the bible says “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
How does God describe love? Well it says in 1 John 4:20-21 “If someone says ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” In plain English, the author here is saying we only love God as much as the person we love the least. Wow! When you hear it that way it puts a whole new perspective on loving God’s way and loving God. You see love is a response as well as an action. It should be our first response every time.
In 1st Corinthians 13 what is described as the love chapter in the Bible, Paul essentially says if whatever I do, if I don’t do it with absolute love in my heart then all my efforts have been in vain. In 1st Corinthians 13: 4-8 Paul writes “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.” These are hard statements for us to follow at times, because when you have been hurt by someone it is very hard to trust again, or to not keep a record of wrongs that have been done to us. Or the “always” statements: trusts, protects, hopes, perseveres. Not sometimes but always. Does not give us any wiggle room there.
There have been times I just want to quit on some people. They get on my last nerve, they lie, steal from me, cheat me, hurt my loved ones and smile at my face like they have done nothing wrong. Stab me in the back, throw me under the bus, stomp on my dreams, make fun of me and how I look. Say bad things about my family. Curse me and try to harm me. With that person or persons my first response every time should be love. I sit here now writing this knowing that some of those people are in my life now and I must show them love. It is not an option if I want to be a Christ lover myself. Why? Because the real key to all this, is that; LOVE NEVER FAILS. You can’t go wrong when you show that agape (unconditional) love towards people. You want to be a success in Christ’s eyes? Then love like He did. Jesus will give you the wisdom and the strength to love and your love will not fail. You may not see the results of it immediately or even in your lifetime. But God does not lie. Love Never Fails!