There are three reasons why you should love others. The third attitude every should save is “love,” after “humility” and “happiness.”
This post is a continuation of the series, 5 Attitudes every Christian should have. Love is the third attitude every should have after “humility” and “happiness.”
But, showing love isn’t just an easy task? How would we do it in today’s fragile society?
The truth of the matter is that the concept of love has been overused and sometimes abused.
No matter how we misuse the idea of love, what does not change, however, is the fact that love represents the foundation for everything. Love is still supported by the other two attitudes we’ve studied so far: humility and happiness. You can review them on your own time.
Understanding love from the Bible will help us know the reasons why we have to love others.
Biblical love isn’t something we can fake or make up on our own. It is either you have it, or you don’t.
And, when you don’t have it, there are ways you can develop it in you. Remember, love is an attitude, which you can practice and grow in it.
John, the author of the gospel of John and the letters (first, second and third letters of John), wrote about love. He makes the idea of real love divine.
The question that still remains is: what does this mean for you and me?
Let’s use 1 Corinthians 13 to help us answer the above question.
This piece of Scripture is often confused with a biblical wedding passage.
Don’t get me wrong here.
What I’m saying is yes we should use during weddings. I also use it when I do my premarital counseling sessions with brides and grooms.
But, marriage is only one layer or channel through which we should demonstrate love to each other.
Life has so many channels God expects us to show love to one another.
So, 1 Corinthians 13 was intended, not only for weddings but primarily as a reminder for the Church that “love” is the most critical attitude we all should have.
In the following lines, and every time I quote a Scripture, I will be referring to the English Standard Version Bible.
Love is God’s commandment
Nothing will ever replace love, as an attitude!
God wants us to love God and neighbor. These are the greatest commandments God has given us. Three of the four gospels mention Jesus affirming that. See Matthew 22: 34-40, Mark 12: 28-34 or Luke 10: 25-28.
Therefore, everything else we do in life should derive from our love for God and neighbor. In other words, love should be what propels us to do what we do.
Paul is talking about it as he writes to the Church in Corinth with a focus on verses one through three.
If I speak in the tongues of men and angels but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
What Paul is saying in this Scripture is that there is nothing wrong with having spiritual gifts. But when you have no love, all that means nothing in God’s eyes.
In the verses above, Paul is stressing that without love, I am nothing and gain nothing.
Everything you do on a daily basis becomes rewarding when love is the reason why you do it.
Love is a mark of true discipleship
The next verses, in 1 Corinthians 13 (four through seven), describe what should be viewed as marks of a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Here are the words from Paul to the Corinthian Church as well as to us today:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Since I look at love more as who God wants us to be, rather than just what we do for or give to others, here’s how you’ll look like when you have Biblical love in your life:
- You are patient with and kind to other people
- You do not envy or boast; you are not arrogant or rude
- You do not insist on your way; you’re other-centered
- You are not irritable or resentful
- You rejoice in truth, not at wrongdoing
- You bear and endure all things
- You believe all things
- You hope all things
The eight marks God would like us to have complete God’s love in our lives.
Love is eternal
The claim that Biblical love, which God would like us to have, is eternal comes the next verses in 1 Corinthians 13 (eight through twelve):
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now, we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
And the reason why is because God is Love. John writes about that saying:
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4: 8. ESV.
Bringing it together
The significance of love in our daily living is that it creates four things in us, which support the three reasons why we all should love one another:
- Compassion. We become aware of people’s issues, struggles, pain, and suffering.
- Concern and sympathy. We don’t just talk about other people’s suffering. We sympathize with them.
- Warmth. We open up to ways on how we can meet people at the point of their struggles.
- Responsiveness. We choose to do something about it. We get off and help resolve problems people have.
That’s who we are when we choose to show love to one another. By doing so, people will know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. Read John 16: 35.
So, show some love to your family, neighbors, stranger and everyone else you meet today and throughout this week!
Here’s an audio recording on Love as the third attitude every Christian should have. Click to listen!