This blog post is actually one I wrote 5 months ago, but seeing as it is Valentine’s Day I thought it would be a fitting topic to repost. Valentine’s Day or not, it’s always good to remember the importance of love — whether platonic or romantic.
I’ve been reflecting on love and reading about it in my Bible a lot over the past month or so. I’ve been reflecting on how I have loved and how I have been loved over the course of my life — in big ways and small ways. I even memorized 1 Corinthians 13 as a daily reminder of what love looks like. The one thing that is for certain, though, is that love is a very easy noun and a very challenging verb.
Love is universal — we all love something or someone. That is the noun part, the feeling part, the easy part. Acting out on that love and expressing it in its fullness, well, that’s the very challenging part. When I started to meditate on how we are biblically called to love each other is when I started to grasp the broader scope of the immense challenge to fulfill that mandate.
I think that the reason it can be so difficult to biblically love each other is because we are so in love with ourselves. It’s not easy to love! It takes sacrifice, time, energy, selflessness, and humility. I enjoy loving on the people close to me, but I’m going to be real honest with you — I love being loved on even more! It feels much better to sit back and feel the love than it does to be vulnerable, to risk not getting a good reaction, and to sacrifice time and energy.
It’s crazy to me to look at Paul, one of the most Spirit-filled and anointed men to have walked this planet, talk about love in 1 Corinthians 13. He talks of how he could speak any language, have prophetic power, understand all mysteries, and have enough faith to throw mountains around, but without love it would all be nothing. He goes on to describe what love even looks like saying:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” If you think that’s tough to live up to, it gets even crazier when Jesus dropped the bomb saying that “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NLT)
It may feel better to be wanting the love to come your way, but even Paul knew that he gained nothing and was nothing without living a life full of unrelenting and selfless love. It’s far from easy, especially when we don’t feel the love in return, but when we start dying for each other, that’s when the fullness of love reaches maximum synergy.