Saturday, June 19, 2010
What is Love?
My favorite translation of 1 Corinthians 13 is from the first version of the Living Bible from back in the '70's. It is read in a song that was recorded at Explo' '72 that was held in Dallas, Texas. I still have a copy of that album and have that song on my computer as well. It is called "Love Song" by the band Love Song.
One of the reasons I love this translation so very much is because of its wording for verses 4-7 which are a description of agape or the love of God which is what we as Christians are to have for others.
It goes like this: "Love is very patient and kind. Never jealous or envious. Never boastful or proud. Never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand it's own way. It is not irratable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice. But rather rejoices whenever the truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him. You will always expect the best of him. And always stand your ground in defending him."
Verse 8 tells us that this love goes on forever. It will never fail.
How very different than man's definition of love, for man considers love to be something that comes and goes like the seasons, passing in and out of one's life multiple times. But true love is eternal like God himself.
How often I have been accused of wanting to control those that I love. Wanting to run their lives for them. But the fact is that I love them enough that I expect the best of them. The truth is that I love them enough to want them to do what is right, to live righteously. As a Christian this is the only love, the best love I can give to anyone.
Jesus said in John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." and in John 14:21"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
So the two go hand in hand. True love comes only with obedience to the will of God or righteousness. One cannot live in habitual sin and be indwelt by the love of God. When one has found and accepted the salvation offered by the grace of God through Christ they become a new being and the old man is cast off along with the old sin life. It can be no other way. This is the love that I want for those I love, the love I have for them, the love that God has for them, the love of all loves.