What is love? Is it that nervous feeling that you get when a special someone enters the room? Is it long phone conversations until the wee hours of the morning? Is it even marriage for that matter? Surprisingly, it's not. I spent a long time trying to figure out what love is, and finally came up with a definition. A few weeks ago, at our church's missions conference, God reinforced that definition by having the visiting preacher quote my definition almost word perfect. So let me ask again, what is love?
Love is not a feeling, but an action. Love is a verb, not a noun. Love is "doing what is best for the other person, no matter how much it inconveniences you." Let's look at the greatest example of love ever--Jesus. Do you really think that He enjoyed being tortured, beaten, mocked, spat upon, and eventually crucified? Obviously not, but it was what was best for us. Jesus put aside the inconvenience of personal suffering so that we could be forgiven of our sins. He did it because He loves us. Jesus' death on the cross is a perfect example of love, because He is perfect.
So how can we display love in our daily lives? First, Matthew 5:44 tells us to love our enemies. Obviously, you will never have feelings for people that treat you bad, but as we learned above, that's not love! Romans 12:20a says, "Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink." Even though you may not like them, you can still show them love by doing what is best for them. Second, we can love our acquaintances. In this way, love is more of an attitude. It's a willingness to show love. If you see someone that needs help, go and help them. In doing so, you can show them love. Even if you don't really know the person, you can still make a difference in their life by showing them love. Finally, we can love our family/friends. Most people think that this would be quite easy. It's not. When your mom asks you to take out the trash right when you reach the most interesting part of your book, do you show her love? Do you "inconvenience yourself to do what is best for another person"?
Imagine how different our lives and relationships would be if we showed true love. Gone would be infatuation and meaningless crushes. Gone would be gossip and hurtful words. Instead, we would focus on doing what is best for other people.
So what about you? Are you showing true love? Are you doing what is best for the other person, no matter how much it inconveniences you? Don’t bother searching for true love; instead, start showing it.