LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
If I am going to obey the commandment to love my neighbour, what exactly does that mean? Yesterday, I posted 25 specific things the Bible tells us to do towards those around us. Today, I’m posting something to tell us exactly how God defines love. There are no great mysteries, no great theological truths, nothing that will blow your mind here, just a list. But when we look at this list, we can see that God’s view of love is vastly different from the view of the world around us, and if we check ourselves, we may find that we’ve (at least in part) adopted the world’s definition of love, rather than God’s.
God’s Definition of Love
(I Corinthians 13:4-7)
Love Suffers Long (puts up with a lot)
Love is Kind (even when it has to put up with a lot)
Love is not Zealous Against Someone Else
Love Does not Boast
Love is not Inflated, Proud, or Concerned about One’s Own Self-Esteem
Love Behaves Decently and Appropriately to the Situation
Love Puts Others First
Love is not Easily Angered or Irritated
Love Assumes the Best it Possibly Can About Others
Love is not Happy Over the Wrongdoing and Punishment of Others
Love Rejoices When Others do Well
Love Bears the Wrongs of Others
Love Believes Others Whenever Possible
Love Hopes Others Are Doing, and Will Do, That Which is Good
Love Endures All Things
WHAT GOD DOES NOT SAY ABOUT LOVE IN THIS CHAPTER
• He does not say we must like the person.
• He does not say we are ignorant of the person’s wrongs (love is NOT blind).
• He does not talk about wanting to embrace a person, or a warm fuzzy feeling.
WHEN GOD COMMANDS US TO LOVE,
IS IT PRIMARILY ABOUT:
WHAT WE FEEL
WHAT WE DO?
Decisions. I’ve heard it said, “Love is a decision.” Perhaps instead we could say that love is about decisions, a series of decisions, day in and day out. Love is continually deciding to do the loving thing, to think the loving thing, to say the loving thing. You can decide you are going to love someone, but it means nothing unless you continually decide, day after day, to do the things that God included in His definition of love. If you aren’t continually trying to do those things, you aren’t really telling the truth when you say you love someone.