Loving someone can sometimes be a very difficult thing to do. So how can we learn to love one another? What is love anyway? Ask people that question, and you’ll probably get a variety of different answers.
But God is the one who shows us what true love is. He shows us how true love does.
What do I mean by how true love does? I mean to say that God not only tells us that He loves us, but he demonstrates His love through action and sacrifice.
What is Love?
1 Corinthians 13 is a popular passage in the Bible which describes the importance of love, what love really is, how love does, and how love does not.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This is the love that God calls us to have for one another.
God shows us love in so many ways. 1 John 3 mentions in verse 1 that God loves us by calling us His children. Verse 16 of the same chapter says
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 3 teaches us that God not only loves us, but He calls us to love one another as well. The passage teaches us the importance and value of love, and that loving one another is a commandment from the beginning that we must obey. Verse 23 says
And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us
Why Must We Love?
1 John 4:7-21 also teaches us about love.
We see that God is love, that love comes from God, that He has shown us love, and that we must love one another.
1 Corinthians 16:14 says
Let all that you do be done in love.
This is the life of the Christian, that all that we do be done in love. Love for God. Love for one another. Not a shallow emotion as fleeting as a wisp of wind, but a love that comes from God. Love demonstrated through action and sacrifice even when it’s not easy to do so, and even when we don’t necessarily feel like it.
How Can We Love?
So how can we love others when it’s so incredibly hard sometimes?
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us the fruits of the Spirit
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, therefore God is the one who enables us to love. We can not love apart from God. Since God is love and it is His very nature to love, we learn to love when He abides in us.
The root of love for others is love for God. When we are rooted in Him, He transforms us from a selfish character into one that is more like Him.
It is through Him and because of Him that we not only know what love is, but we also learn how to love.
As the Bible says in 1 John 4 Beloved, let us love one another.