Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (GW)
It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NRSV)
It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NJB)
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV)
Love started somewhere. All things start somewhere, but some beginnings are more difficult to see than others. Love is easy. Love always starts with God. It really doesn’t matter where you see it or what context it takes place in, love begins with God. Unfortunately, many people think love is biological, or psychological, but they are using the incorrect terminology.
In our current culture we “love” TV shows, fast food and pop stars. We “love” chocolate, fitness fads and fantasy football. But do we truly love those things or have we become unaware of our feelings to such a degree that we can’t label them accurately? Sadly the word love has become a lazy, throw away word to state our admiration of, desire for, obsession with and/or fixation on any one of the objects listed above and thousands of others. This leaves us confused about genuine love and what we should feel about so many things in our lives.
Love in its fullest expression is the grand motivator of all good things. We need to ask ourselves, “What does God love?” (Hint: “For God so loved the world…”) There are plenty of scripture verses regarding God’s love and the majority of them discuss a single object of His affection: us. People. God loves people; and so should we. But God also loves other things. God loves truth; so should we. God loves justice; so should we. God loves a contrite heart; so should we. I really don’t think God loves chocolate (though I am sure He loves people who think they love chocolate). The things of this world will pass away, but grace, justice, mercy, hope and all of the goodness of God will remain.
This is why getting love down right is so important for the Christian life. If we can get this right, all other aspects of the Christian life will be nourished and grow. Love is the eternal life of God expressing itself through our words and actions. It is the beginning of all other good things in our lives. So enjoy a TV show, admire the wonder of chocolate, but save your love for God and the things He loves.