When people hear “first Corinthians 13” they automatically hear “The Love Chapter.” But what does it really mean to love? We talk often about “being in love” and “loving others as ourselves,” but is that just a feeling, or does it have an attachment of action to it? I’ve read in other articles that love itself is an action. I disagree, to a point. I believe that love is a feeling that leads to an action. The more you “feel” love for someone, the more willing you are to “act” on that love by doing a nice thing.
As I read through the bible, looking for verses on love, I found something that I think is significant. There is no way to look for anything specific on love. The WHOLE BIBLE is God’s love letter to us. Every word in the entire book is dedicated to showing the world how much God loves us. And in return, how much He wants us to love him, and show that love to the rest of the world.
But when I run across verses such as “love your neighbor as yourself,” I still wonder what God means by that, and how I can put it to use in my daily life. As I’ve meditated on what that quote in particular means to me, I think I’ve figured something out. Let me give you an example:
Would you, even when you’re angry, look at yourself in the mirror, and say things to yourself like, “you’re ugly, you’re useless, you’re never going amount to anything?”
Why then, would you say something like that about someone else? Love your neighbor as yourself means (to me) that you treat your neighbor with the same level of respect and love as you would treat yourself. If someone gave you something, would you not expect them to make sure it’s in good working order? You would be pretty offended if someone gave you a gift that didn’t work, or was in really bad shape. You might not say anything to that person, but to yourself you would wonder if that person even liked you, much less loved you. When you buy something for yourself, like a new blender or even a new couch, you want the best for you, right? you get the couch you think is the most comfortable for the price you want to pay, or you buy the best blender that does the stuff you want, right?
Treat your neighbor (otherwise known as other human beings) the way you would treat yourself. By doing this, even if they don’t realize it, you are showing them the love of God. God only wants us to have the best. Jesus died on the cross for us because he wanted us to have the best. He wanted us to have fellowship with Him, and a chance at eternity in Heaven. Our free will still screws that up from time to time, but He still did it. Even giving us free will was an act of love. He didn’t want us to feel forced into serving Him or worshiping him.
So next time you read the Bible, try reading it the way I’ve come to see it…as a love letter to humanity. It might make more sense that way.
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Until Next Time,