People love to talk about love. Love, love, love; all we need is love. Love is the answer. Love conquers all… God is love.
I love pizza!
Maybe it’s all true; I won’t argue against it. Yet if we stop and think about it, don’t we sometimes reduce the whole subject of love down to the level of a slogan, a cliché even? We all might be familiar with what love feels like, but what does it look like in practice?
Not surprisingly, the Scriptures have much to say about love. In fact, Jesus Himself had some things to say on the subject, as did His Apostles. We know that God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son to die for us. We know that the greatest Commandment was that we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength, and that the second greatest was that we should love our neighbor as ourselves.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul said a great deal about God’s grace, and how He showed us His love through His grace. Then, he went on to discuss our response to God’s grace, and once again, he wrote about love; this time of our love for one another. Here’s a sample:
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Notice he begins by telling us that our love must be sincere. Sincerity is much more than a slogan, and it is never cliché. From what follows in these few verses, it would also appear that our love is active in nature, something that can be observed to be put into action. We mustn’t waste love on things which are evil, rather we should love only what is good, wholesome and true. Out of love comes service to God, and service to God is seen when we hold others up as being more important than ourselves, when we meet the needs of others without worrying about our own desires and pleasures. Love isn’t about pleasing ourselves― it’s about serving others.
Many people talk a good game, but when love is put into action, the love of God in us can be seen by everyone to His glory, and no slogans are needed.