If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you know that God commands us to “love one another” as Jesus loves us. But how do we do that when so many people are so “unlovable”? We can’t do it in our natural flesh, as many try to do and fail. We need God’s empowerment to love the way He wants us to – to love with His love! Wow—that’s a mouthful!
John 13:34 (KJV) 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
John 13:35 (KJV) 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
The first thing we need to understand is that God’s love and human love are not the same thing. Human love is carnal, fleshy, sense ruled, touchy-feely, and changes at the drop of a hat! What we feel is what we do.
God’s love is not that way. He loves us the same way He loves Jesus. And He expects us to love others with the same love – His love.
John 17:23 (KJV) 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
God would never, and I mean never, command us to do something we are incapable of doing. We can love the way He wants us to because His love has already been shed abroad in our hearts.
Romans 5:5b (KJV) 5 … because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Let’s look at the great love chapter and find out what the God-kind of love is:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (KJV) [Charity means love in this passage. It indicates a giving kind of love.]
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Now let’s look at the Amplified Bible rendition, which gives us a bit more insight:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (AMP) 4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].
From these passages, we see that love has nothing to do with “touchy, feely” love. It has to do with how we act and how we treat others. We’re to be patient, kind, forgiving, merciful, rejoicing in others’ accomplishments, not envious or jealous. And not gossiping about each other! In other words, we’re looking out for the other person. And if everyone did that, we’d all be looking to bless one another and getting along. What a way to live!