Does anyone remember that song by Foreigner featuring amazing background voices of the New Jersey Mass Choir? I still love this song (I’ve got it in my iTunes collection) and I love the question. It’s a question that, in some form, is asked by every human being at some point in their life. So what is LOVE? Love by definition is to have an intense feeling of deep affection. This definition is based on feeling, but love as God designed it is a decision, it is an action word. It is not an emotion or feeling that you decide to embrace or push away but love is the foundation of our lives as Christians and the basis of our relationships through Christ Jesus.
The scripture tells us exactly how to love each other. If we follow these instructions every day and practiced them on everyone we encountered, we would change the world!
Kindness is showing care and compassion for those around us. In a world full of rushed, hurried people, let’s take a moment to be kind to someone else. Just take a moment and think about the different ways you can show kindness to the people in your life. Start with your family and make kindness a way of life in your household. Teach your children at a young age what it means to think about others and how to show compassion to others.
Another part of loving others is to be patient with them. I often struggled with patience, I want things done quickly and the way I want them done. God has helped me to see myself when I am being impatient and when I need to slow down, and stop rushing. Life was not intended to be a rat race and when you rush things, especially when others are involved, you will only do more harm than good. More than likely unnecessary mistakes will be made and the outcome will not be the one you desired. So, take a deep breath and allow Christ to help you embrace and demonstrate patience with others and with yourself.
Love is also demonstrated by showing honor to others. Giving people around you respect and honor gives glory to God. Your actions and words really express who you are inside and you build people up when you show respect and honor. When we are angry, it is hard to show honor, and when we do, we truly show love the way God intended. This is exactly what happens when we control our tongue and speak life and positive things into another person. When we treat others the way we would like to be treated it pays off for everyone involved.
Saint Paul summed it up in his first letter to the church at Corinth: “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NRSV)
Love is an action, not a feeling or emotion and when we get the true understanding of how God intended us to interact and love each other, we will start to change the world one person at a time.