What Is Love?

Love is a word that is used often in our culture. Many of us aspire to love well, and even more of us desire to be loved more than almost anything. Despite the myriad of songs, stories, and poems that try to explain what love is, it’s still hard to define. Is it a feeling? Is it an act or an attitude? Is it a state of being? How do we know it when we see it?

It’s an interesting exercise to try to understand who God is. Imagining who God is, is like trying to discover what Pete’s dragon looks like while he’s invisible. You can look at his footprints in the earth. You can tell he’s big because you can see trees rustle up high as he moves past. If you threw some water in his direction, you’d see it roll off and catch a glimpse of his shape.

We don’t get to see God yet. That’s both a frustration and part of the fun. We get to discover who He is by seeking Him. It’s a grand game of hide and seek. We see evidence of His love and grace in many ways.

He gave us some big hints as to where we can find Him too. He left us instructions in His word. We look at the Biblical statement that God IS love. We have to remember that love isn’t God, but God is love. What God does is our perfect example of what love is. So we can’t look at what we think love is and use that to show us who God is. That’s a flawed inversion of the truth. If our view of love is skewed, then our concept of who God is will be skewed as well.

Conversely, if you want to know what real love is, you need to look to God for the definition. What Jesus did and said, was perfect love. If you look at something God did and think, “that’s not love”, it’s not God that’s wrong, it’s your understanding of love.

If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand, and have no fear
Cause I, I will be here
~Steven Curtis Chapman “I Will Be Here”

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