Love. Love is a very widely used word in our culture today. It is used to describe anything from good food to your spouse. But love, it seems, is not often used to describe what it truly is. 1 John 4:8 says,” The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love,”
Love is the word used to describe the very being of God. God is Love, and love is the personality, the Holiness of God. When we strive to love, we strive to live as Jesus lived, to fulfill what God tells us in His Word.
” 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.” -1 Corinthians 13:4-7
In this passage, God describes to us Himself. Just as we cannot survive without God, we cannot survive without love. Without love, we are empty, and no matter how great we become, we will have wasted our life if it is lived without love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 describes this:” If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
We are bankrupt without love, but it is hard to love even close to the way we should. It is easy to love someone who is kind to you, but it is far harder to love those who aren’t. We are called to love not only when it is easy, but especially when it is had. That is how we know that we can. Just as it is easier to act kind around it people who are kind to you, and harder to do so when they are rude and disrespectful, it is easy to act loving when there is nothing making you want to act the opposite.
Though it may be hard to love, it is truly rewarding. When you are patient and kind; when you are humble and forgiving, God rewards you with joy unending. You get to see the change even small acts of love can bring about, and it is a blessing to witness the hand of God at work.