What does the Bible say about love?
When talking about the fruits of the Spirit, love is often at the forefront of our minds. Why? We see different types of love all around us. Maybe we’ve been “in love” or felt parental love for a child. Or perhaps we’ve felt the sting of the absence of love. At the core of our beings, our inherent desire is to love and be loved in return.
Biblical love is a difficult concept for our human minds to understand, especially since the world’s definition of love is so different from love in the Bible. Even with the Greek (agapē) and Hebrew (ahava) definitions, we could spend the rest of our lives uncovering the meaning of the words we translate as “love.” The fruit of love must be at the center of what we say and do. We are wired to pursue and give love.
The first fruit of the Holy Spirit is love (Galatians 5). One of the many forms of this love is agape or unconditional love. Agape is the highest form of love. It’s self-sacrificial and pours out to others, regardless of whether or not they deserve it. It believes in the best and empowers us to live a life of undaunted courage.
Many Christians are weighed down knowing that they struggle to love people whose philosophies, lifestyles, and behaviors are opposed to God. It can feel difficult to show love towards those who believe differently than us or who have hurt us. Or perhaps we can’t forgive ourselves for what we’ve done in the past. Regardless of the reason, we must admit that—at some level—we all struggle with love.
The more we draw near to Him, the more our hearts can hear the whispers of His truth. He understands the hurt in our lives. He knows and empathizes with us when we’re feeling empty. In those moments, He asks us to come to Him.
In Mark 12, Jesus says the first commandment is to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. The second commandment, He said, is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” We can’t love others without first going to Christ as our ultimate source of true love.
Showing Christian love to others
When was the last time you tried to unconditionally love someone through your own strength? These attempts usually fall flat and we’re left realizing the depth to which we need God’s strength.
God is faithful to refresh our souls as we come to Him. Without drawing strength from Him, it’s nearly impossible to show love to others. Christ died for us in the name of love. If He was willing to die for you—and for your neighbor—how willing must He be to listen to your concerns and give you the strength to love in every weakness?
Lean into the depths of His goodness and divine love, knowing that He hears your heart. We were made to love, and He loves you more than you will ever know.
Jesus is the only perfect example of love, as He is love itself. He created love, just the same as He created us. He embodies selfless giving, peace, and kindness. He is love without conditions.
Showing love to others
Love can be shown by speaking, doing, and acting. That’s what CHM members do when they help others pay their medical bills, send cards and letters of encouragement, and pray for those who are sick or grieving. By doing those things, they‘re demonstrating and sharing their fruit of the Spirit: love.
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18 ESV). A “deed” is an action. The truth is that the way to love in the Spirit is to be constantly moving toward Someone indescribably more powerful than ourselves: The Lord Jesus Christ.
It’s possible for Christians to love everyone, though not necessarily in the same way: We’re going to love our spouses and our families differently than we do others. It’s possible for Christians to love others because we love God. The closer we get to His nature, the more His nature and agape love will shine in us, and the more we’ll be able to love, in the light of His glory and grace.
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