Thoughts on Love
Love is a powerful thing. It is the only thing that God claims to be. All other fruits of the spirit are just the actions of God, but love is actually what God IS. And for that reason, 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
So according to this, those that can’t show love to other people and yet claim to be in a relationship with God are liars, and do not know Him.
I have an example of what love looks like:
- Romans 5:8 says that “God demonstrates His love for us in this: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
So how we do show love to others?
- Mark 12:30-31 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.””
And how do we love ourselves? By finding our self-worth in Christ alone. Nothing else can define you. If you place your hope and sense of self in a relationship, you’ll eventually be let down, even if it’s the best marriage in the world. If you place your identity in your talents, eventually there will be someone who is better than you. If you place your hopes and security in possessions, you’ll be disappointed when life comes and takes them away. And it’s not fair to put those things under that kind of pressure, especially relationships. Only God can hold up under that. Only He will never let you down.
In C.S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves”, he discusses a quote by M. Denis de Rougemont. “Love ceases to be a demon only when it ceases to be a god”. According to Lewis, this can be re-stated as “Love that becomes a god becomes a demon.” This means that anything that we love, put faith in, or worship in the place of God can not stand in that place without eventually being corrupted. Not that we can’t love or value other things, but just that we can’t afford to put anything higher than God. We saw that with Satan, who was once God’s highest angel. But he loved himself more than God, and due to that, he was corrupted and fell. Only God can stand in the place of a god.
So we see that it comes back full circle to God. A test of a person’s relationship with God is whether or not they show love to others. Jesus said that you can only love others if you love yourself. And we see that you can only truly love yourself if you find that sense of identity and worthiness in God.