I heard a good sermon today on love. It inspired me and left me feeling that it would be an appropriate last blog of the year. So today I look back and reflect on how I have loved in 2018.
If you’re joining me in a self-examination, I want to define for you the definition of love I’m using to judge myself against. It is the biblical worldview on love, and this is found in I Corinthians 13. In the New King James Version it reads as follows:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift ofprophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
If I start off giving myself high marks, the more I read on, the more convicted I become. To drive this home, if I take out the word “love” and insert my name there, and read it, it takes on a whole different feel. I can’t even read it with a straight face, it is so untrue. This brings on even more conviction. It becomes evident in my body language and the loss of hope I begin to have. In fact, even trying to love bigger and better seems useless!
I could never succeed. The truth is, I don’t have a love that never fails. I don’t bear all things, I don’t hope all things or endure all things, at least, not without complaining. I’m not always kind, and I do seek my own!
How is such a love possible?
Agape Love, the Love of God
First, the love Paul speaks of here is not erotic, nor is it brotherly. It wasn’t prescribed for husband and wife or bothers and sisters. This love is a person, and in order for this type of love to exist, this person must be inside us! This type of love is agape love. Its conception starts from the love of God and flows down to us. Agape love isn’t a reaction or a reward or benefit bestowed upon flawless people. It doesn’t fall upon someone because they deserve to be loved or have said the right words or done the right thing. Agape love, the love of God, is unconditional.
Love is Powerful
Read this passage again. This time, replace the word “love” with the word “Jesus”. How did that sound? Didn’t the Truth Meter go off inside you? Truth is powerful. So is this passage. So is this love.
I can rate myself, and see my shortcomings, but I won’t get stuck in them. I will face my past, and as I read this passage again, I can face my future. I will reread this chapter over and over this coming year. I will improve in loving others, because more of Jori will die, allowing more of Jesus to be present. This is the will of God! It is only Jesus inside me that can love like this! Go on, then, and live and love like Jesus and have yourself a happy New Year!
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…