It’s easy to misunderstand what the Bible means by “love.”
In today’s world, we use that word for so many different things. We say we “love” basketball, or we “love” someone’s new outfit, or we “love” the new Avengers movie.
In this sense, “love” is just REALLY liking something. It’s like “like” on steroids.
But when Jesus used the word “love,” it wasn’t about REALLY liking something, and it wasn’t about a strong feeling.
When Jesus used the word “love,” he meant something closer to “loyalty.” It is to have a kind of committed attachment to someone because they too are a child of God made in his image. Because of that connection, it becomes more natural to want to proactively seeking God’s best for someone—even if you don’t like them, and even if you aren’t like them.
With this in mind, when Jesus said to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:31), it was kind of like saying, “be loyal to your neighbour as you would be to yourself.” In other words, because they too are a child of God made in his image, proactively seek God’s best for them—even if you don’t like them, and even if you aren’t like them.
Think of someone in your life right now who is going through a tough time. Identify how you can help them by responding to a practical need they have. And then act on it.
Love by being loyal—even if you don’t like them, and even if you aren’t like them.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s devotional is partly based on my most recent sermon called “The Cardinal Virtue.” You can listen in by clicking here.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.