But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV).
True love comes from the Spirit. When we don’t walk in the Spirit, we don’t experience true love.
Since the Spirit of God is rarely mentioned or followed in culture today, often, songs and media-speak depicting love are more a form of selfish indulgence than Biblical love.
Biblical love is doing what is best for another person at the expense of self. Paul describes this love . . .
If there is any consolation of love . . . make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love . . . Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:1-4, NASB1995).
If we loved according to Scripture, our interests would become subservient to the desires of others. Consider how this type of love would impact a marriage falling apart, anger toward another’s transgression, unity in the body of Christ, discussing politics, and how we spend our money.
But love isn’t just about how we treat others; it also influences how we treat ourselves. Jesus told us to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39).
If we accept the love of God, then we can forgive ourselves, leave behind self-condemnation and have peace in spite of our failures. Our violence and rude actions towards others can be motivated by self-hatred.
There is a price to find love, and refusal to pay this price explains our difficulty in experiencing love. Jesus gave the perfect example of love when he died on the cross for our sins.
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who . . . emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).
Let’s find love this week by serving others.
We can’t ask God, “Make me a more loving person,” and then expect a cupid angel with wings and a bow to shoot a little arrow toward us. The Bible has better ideas . . .
- Serve one another with our spiritual gifts (1 Peter 4:10)
- Show hospitality to those of the faith and to strangers (Galatians 6:10 and Hebrews 13:2)
- Remember giving to orphans and widows in distress is undefiled faith (James 1:27)
Serving and hospitality, along with orphans and widows, and adding disciple-making in obedience to the Great Commission . . .
Let’s ask God to give us an opportunity to try love this week.