What is Love

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Years ago there was an article that Google Canada had circulated, citing the top searches of the year. Besides the usual news-making politicians, celebrities, athletes and musicians, there were two questions asked in the country’s most popular “what is” query. The first one was “what is love,” and the second-highest trending “how to” query was “how to love.” Aaron Brindle, a spokesman for Google said “It told us not only about the year that was, but also about the human condition.”

Obviously people in our nation are looking to be loved. And we’re asking how to love. In actuality, God has created us to love and love is constantly looking for an avenue to be released because we were created in our Father’s image.

So what better to place to look for the answer than to the very headwaters of love itself.
The bible gives us a clear answer in 1 John 4:8. God IS love. So how does He translate this love tangibly?

One way is to see love in action is through the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. A 20th century American theologian, Donald Barnhouse said it this way, “Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.”

Love is tuning in to what God is doing around you, seeing the world through His eyes or catching a glimpse of God at work through your actions and reactions.

Another way to see love in action is through a study done on the principle of the Golden Rule conducted by Bernard Rimland, director of the Institute for Child Behavior Research. He found that the happiest people are those who help others.

Each person involved in the study was asked to list 10 people he knew best and to label them as happy or not happy. Then they were to go through the list again and label each one as selfish or unselfish, using the following definition of selfishness: a stable tendency to devote one’s time and resources to one’s own interests and welfare–an unwillingness to inconvenience one’s self for others.”

Rimland found that all of the people labeled happy were also labeled unselfish. He wrote that those “whose activities are devoted to bringing themselves happiness…are far less likely to be happy than those whose efforts are devoted to making others happy” The conclusion? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – Luke 6:31.

Could you write down 10 people in your life who you would describe as happy and unselfish? Most likely love is their source as described in Galatians 5:22-23, and they are a gift to you and others.

God not only created us to love but, through His love, gave us His Son as a gift.
A gift is a reflection of personality, resources, commitment, thoughtfulness, sacrifice and ultimately an expression of love. When God gave us Jesus it truly was a reflection of God’s great love for the world. Because He IS love. That’s our example of how to love!