““Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.””
Matthew 22:36-40 NKJV
Love is a word that gets thrown around so recklessly. It provokes deep levels of joy and when misused, as it often is, can provoke deep levels of pain. The dictionary defines love as;
a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
The worlds definition of love leaves things so open to interpretations, it’s so hinged on feelings and more often than not no ones interpretation is the same. Who can quantify the depth of affection? Who can write a playbook on commonality in how love should be displayed? Because of this, we move by emotions and emotions can be very unreliable. Led by emotions we are like waves tossed to and fro by every passing wind.
So how do we relate, how do we show love without succumbing to the many obstacles it can bring? How do we merge our personal desires and the good of another person. How do you live in unity without caving under the pressures of balancing different natures, attitudes and life approaches as one?
God is the most perceptive, wise and dutiful lover! He knows just how you receive love best and how to let go of Himself to give it to you. He showed us the self sacrificing nature of love when He sent His Son to die for us. In learning how to relate in love we must be aware of the ultimate example of love.
Love is no longer to be perceived simply as an emotion but as an active, doing word.
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
I John 3:18 NKJV
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
I Corinthians 13:4-7 NKJV
All this is easier said than done but requires a deep intentionality, a huge amount of selflessness, it requires an unwavering persistence in chasing what you desire, it requires a firm decision to be unshakeable in your unity no matter what comes.
The intentionality of Christ is indescribable. When the bible says, “men love your wives as Christ loved the church.” Do we realise He didn’t come to earth and decide along the To die for us? He. Came with the sole intent to die for us and all He did was geared towards it. So therefore we must love with such intentionality.
when the bible scripture at the beginning of this post says love your neighbour as yourself, the prerequisite is the love of God. We can only love truly after interaction with God’s love.
I was watching A Beautiful Mind recently and came across this perfect quote, ‘the only way for a group to succeed is if every member does what is best for himself and for the group.’ That is love! Yes love must be selflessness but that selflessness must serve the better good of the group. To relate best you must seek what is best both for yourself and your partner simultaneously and never seek your own good only.