Love defined

Today is Valentine’s day. It’s a day a lot of people spend thinking about love. But I’d like to widen our scope a bit and think about what love actually means. And not just in the romantic sense, but in the wider love-your-neighbour sense.

I think that when we look at Jesus’ example, love means acknowledging that other people are made in God’s image, and pursuing God’s best for them.

That’s what Jesus did. So that’s what we can do too. It’s not based on our fluctuating feelings, or even on whether or not we want to.

It’s based on the example of a steadfast Saviour.

I heard about a grade 7 girl named Sophie who started to date a boy named Andrew. She gave him a picture of herself in her favourite purple sweater. On the back she wrote, “Dear Andrew, I love you forever and ever for all eternity. But if we ever break up, please give this picture back because it’s my only one of me in my favourite sweater. -Your forever love, Sophie.”

Like this grade 7 romance, we can act like love is a powerful (yet unstable and uncertain) aspect of our lives!

But that’s not biblical love.

1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

So love. But to do that in a biblical way, you need to know what it is.

Love is acknowledging that other people are made in God’s image, and pursuing God’s best for them. 

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Today’s “Up!” is partly based on Part 2 in the “Christian Atheism” series at Westminster. The podcast is called “When you don’t love other people” and you can listen in here. Enjoy!

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