In this Christmas season everyone talks about love, joy, and peace. But do we really know what “love” is? In the blogging world there is a plugin called “CommentLuv.” It’s a great plugin, and allows others who have blogs to post the link to their own blog after they leave a comment. But I inwardly cringe at the use of the word “Luv”for such a task. The word “Love” (or maybe it’s “Luv”) is tossed around by bloggers, as in, “Give me some “Luv!” meaning “Comment on my blog!”
Now I like comments on my blog and my Facebook page, and would “love” for you to post one and let me know your reaction to what I write! How else will I know what you are thinking? But is this really “love?”
Since this is the Christmas season, it seems appropriate to talk about real love, and its opponent “Unloving.” After all, love was the point of the first Christmas. Jesus humbled Himself and became a helpless baby, and He did it for love! God so loved the world that He gave Jesus to us! The Holy Spirit stands by us, giving us guidance, direction, comfort – and He does it out of love! I would say that even a great comment on my blog, much as I value it, would pale into insignificance beside the God of the universe spending Himself to come and rescue me, a tiny created being. The two are not even remotely in the same category.
You’ve probably already heard this, but biblically there are different kinds of love. There’s the friendship kind of love (phileo). There’s the attraction kind of love, including sexual (eros). And then there is “agape” love, a totally unselfish love that seeks only the other person’s benefit even to the exclusion of oneself.
John 15:9,12 says, “As the Father loved Me (Jesus), I also have loved you; abide in My love . . . This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Did you catch that? The Father loved (agape) Jesus, Jesus loved (agape) the disciples (all of us), and now His disciples are to love (agape) one another with the same kind of love. That’s a pretty tall order, don’t you think? Since God IS love, it would be pretty hard to come up to loving as He does. But wait! We don’t have to manufacture this kind of love! God has put the Holy Spirit in us. He changes us, grows us into this kind of love.
The kind of love that God grows us into will be patient and kind, it will not envy, it will not be puffed up with pride, it will not call attention to itself, it will be courteous, it will look after the concerns of others, it will endure without retaliating, it will rejoice at the blessings of others, it will always think the best of others, and seek their welfare over one’s own, it always seeks truth instead of falsehood. (See 1 Cor 13)
How do you measure up to this kind of standard? Are there areas of growth in you?
If you are like the rest of us, there are areas in which you don’t measure up. Our spiritual growth toward Love can be sidetracked by what I’ll call “Unloving.” More next time.
Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your thoughts!