I recently heard on a Christian radio program that Love is a feeling. If love is a feeling, then one can say love is a choice. You can choose whether to love someone, either as a whole or based on a condition. If this concept is followed in the Christian arena, one can say the that since the Bible says God is Love and Love is a feeling, then isn’t God just a feeling?
As a Christian, I find this logic appalling. If God is love, then love has to be much more than a common feeling. If God can love us without condition, then love from God’s standpoint cannot be either a feeling or a choice. God loves us regardless of the choices we make, all the while desiring that we choose Him.
Can We Love One Another Unconditionally?
The simple answer is no. The Bible says we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. God alone can love unconditionally. Does this mean we should not strive to love others unconditionally? Absolutely not. We are commanded to love one another as God loves us. Since our love is imperfect, we will never achieve the same magnitude of love God has for us. Yet we should strive towards that level of love.
Let us look at three areas Christians are commanded to love.
1) Love Your Enemy and Pray For Those Who Persecute You
These are words spoken by Jesus during his time among us. Yet, the words are often misunderstood or thought of applying only to those during the life of Christ. How can one love their enemies? These are those who are most undeserving of your love, so how can one serve them anything but anger and hatred? It will not be easy as we all serve the flesh. It is only through a deep relationship with God that we can learn to be more like Jesus and not return evil for evil but good for evil.
What about those who persecute you? This is someone who has maliciously and falsely accuses you of wrong doing which you have not done. How can one pray for someone like that? Why should someone pray for someone like that? Prayer is powerful and we all must forgive those who persecute, for it is through forgiving other that God is willing and able to forgive us for our own sins.
2) Love Your Neighbors
The word neighbor is often used to describe the people who live closest to you. For some it’s the people on the same block. For others its the people in a neighborhood. I believe the word can be expanded infinitely to include everyone we come into contact with on a daily basis.
Why is it that we often equate words like neighbor to a geographical region? If you are a Christian and I am a Christian, we are neighbors in this life journey regardless of where we live. Even if you are a Christan and I were not, we still are neighbors. You never know if that person you share a smile with or a kind word, might be searching for Jesus. You might be the light that brings them into the family.
3) Give to the Needy
Charity towards those in need is love in action. That beggar on the street or the old lady you help across the street might be sent by God, so treat them accordingly. Or they might have fallen away from God’s teaching and desperately looking for a way back. You might be the example they desire to copy or the way back home for them. Just remember that you do so with a heart of giving and not a boastful heart. After all, God loves a cheerful giver who does not let his left hand know what his right has done. This means do not help others to get recognition for yourself, but do it so that God gets all the glory.
Reach out and love someone today, regardless of their situation in life. You never know what may come of that life you touch.