How do we love?

Romantic songs often speak of love and claim how easy it is to become swept up in the lyrics. It’s also easy to love those who love us back. But this kind of love is superficial and pales in comparison to the kind of love the Lord displays toward us. Humanistic love usually has something attached to it, whether it’s feelings or something else. The Lord loves unconditionally.

The Bible speaks of several types of love. In the original Greek, there is eros (erotic) and philios (brotherly); some lesser known types are philautia (self-love), mania (excessive love), and storge (familiar love). Real love in action comes out of a will to love—not necessarily for what we can receive in return. This is called agape love.

In Ephesians 4:2, we are instructed “to be humble and gentle… patient, bearing with one another in love.” First Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Let’s be totally frank. Some people are difficult to love. So how do we manage to fulfill our Godly command to love others when sometimes we’d rather not? That’s when we make the choice to yield to the Holy Spirit and “put on Christ.” Loving people in our own strength can often fail. But with Christ, “we can do all things…”

As we serve God and make his name known, the only way to fulfill our purpose is to love people as God would. As we serve him, seek the lost, and share the love of Christ with our brethren, we demonstrate his love at work. The only way to truly love is without reservation and without strings.

John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”