“Do everything in love.” –1 Corinthians 16:8b
It is our God-given responsibility to doing everything in love. Not only some things, not only a couple of things, but all things! Loving others isn’t an option, it is a command. We must give without expecting anything in return. Whether it is to love God, our neighbors, our friends, or even our enemies, we must always choose to love. It is our sacred duty.
However, the word ‘love’ has turned into a cliché. When one hears the word ‘love’ one often thinks of a fleeting feeling. Our culture has reduced love to three-minute pop songs and ninety-minute romantic comedies rather than the foundational truth of the universe. God is Love and our definition of love should come from knowing who God is (1 John 4:7-21). Emotions are good, but love is not only a feeling, it is continual action that demands our mind, body, emotions, and strength (Matthew 22:36-40).
Pride, which is the antithesis of love, was destroying the early church in Corinth. The Apostle Paul wrote the letter of first Corinthians to remind believers that love is the most important thing and that love will build the church. The climax of the letter is Paul’s great love hymn (1 Corinthians 13). It is a song that answers the question: what is love? In the verses, Paul tells us that love is patient, kind, and rejoices with what is true. He reminds us that love isn’t envious, rude, or arrogant; love never delights in injustice. He tells us that love can endure all things and in the end love will be victorious.
The Good News is that Jesus Christ reveals love to us. When we look to Jesus and understand what Christ has accomplished, love becomes more than an abstraction. Christ is love personified. He is patient and kind. He rejoices with what is right. Jesus isn’t envious, rude, or arrogant. Jesus Christ is the one who has endured all things for our sake. Christ said “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Jesus laid down his life for us. Through His sacrificial love, Jesus achieved victory over sin and death. Like love, Jesus Christ’s reign will have no end.
It is essential for us to meditate on love, especially when we do not feel loved or do not feel like loving others. As an exercise, I urge you the reader to write your own love meditation answering the question what is love? Using Jesus as your example, meditate and write out what love is. In addition, read 1 Corinthians 13 and do your best to memorize the chapter. The passage is not just meant to be read at weddings, but is a reminder of the loving lifestyle that we are all meant to live.