[Not the romantic kind, but loving others in general]
One of the Bible’s most important subjects is love. Loving people is easy to talk about, but hard to do.
But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
When Jesus spoke of love, it was like the first time it was heard. He was living it out in front of all of them. Even unbelievers understood love, but it is still a very perplexing subject. We use the word love for too many things, which weakens the meaning. Imagine if we only used the word love with people; it would be strengthened. Human beings are great liars: the average human tells 1000 lies per year. No matter how many lies we tell others, we tell more to ourselves. The lies we tell ourselves are harmful and hurtful.
Lie 1: Love is a mysterious irresistible force.
- If it lands on you, you’re done
- It is fascinating, but it’s not mysterious.
Lie 2: Love is an uncontrollable feeling
- Problem: no more feeling means no more love.
- Love is not a feeling though it produces wonderful feelings.
- Love is a decision, a commitment.
- The strength of love is not derived from what you see in the other person.
Lie 3: Love is easy, requiring little thought or effort
- “I love by doing what comes naturally”
- Actually, love is hard work.
- If Jesus had said “only love a certain group, in a certain way, and in certain situations” maybe it would be easier, but it did not happen like that.
- “As I loved you” — That is the standard.
Lie 4: Love is a feeling that cannot be recaptured
- We tend to view love as something that happens to us rather than something happens with us.
- Helpless to resist the coming; helpless to resist the leaving.
- That is just not true. The Bible never teaches it.
- Love CAN be restored, if it is lost.
Lie 5: Love is conditional
- “Love as long as…or until…”
- Love is a process, not an event.
- There are no conditions listed in the Bible.
I Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
- Loving someone does not require a favorable or existing relationship
- Loving someone does not require a good or positive response
liking someone and realizing you haven’t got a chance in hell.
Story of my life…