The Abundant Life: Riches money can’t buy…
The abundant life knows what true love is.
Our society equates love with an emotional roller coaster ride or a feeling that we can’t live without a certain person. Love is not always about two people falling helplessly and hopelessly into an uncontrollable rage of passion. Just ask anyone who’s been married for any significant length of time and they will tell you love goes way beyond physical attraction. True love is something we do. In fact, it’s a bunch of stuff we do.
Love is a big thing to God. He refers to it throughout the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13 goes into great detail explaining what real love is all about. Here we learn some things we do or don’t do if we really want to love someone: be patient, be kind, be truthful, be hopeful, don’t envy, don’t boast, don’t be rude, don’t be prideful, don’t be self-seeking, don’t get angry, and so on.
This kind of love can be between spouses (Ephesians 5:25) but these scriptures can also be used as a gauge to loving our neighbors (Mark 12:31), loving our families (Ephesians 5:25), loving one another (John 13:34,), and even loving our enemies (Matthew 5:43).
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to love enemies, our neighbors, our families or even our spouses because they are all people—and people are so unlovable. I’m not referring to criminals and those who perform unspeakable atrocities. I’m talking about those we may be close to and have contact with every day. They can irritate and frustrate us to distraction.
Loving people doesn’t mean never getting irritated or frustrated with them. Loving people doesn’t mean always condoning what they do or agreeing with what they say. Loving people doesn’t mean we shield them from the consequences of their decisions. Loving people doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to their faults. Rather, loving people means we deal with them in a kind, patient, respectful, honest, and humble way. (1 Corinthians 13)
Actually, that’s how God loves us. He knows what we’ve done and loves us anyway. He separates the person from the action. He can hate the action but love the person. He never says what we’ve done is okay when it’s not. However, He always deals with us in a loving manner. And He knows what true love is all about because HE IS LOVE! (1 John 4:8)
“…I have come that they may have life and that they
may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10 (KJV)