The Truth About Love
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
In 1 Peter 4:8, Peter tells us to love one another earnestly. What does it mean to really love? What does he mean by “earnestly”? I believe our perception of what love truly is has been thwarted. We see love as a big romantic gesture, set fourth to validate and make someone else feel like they are special. What we see, whether it be on T.V., read in books, or even cultivate in our own head is an idea of love—but not true, agape love.
You see, love itself is messy. Love is a choice—not an emotion—and a difficult one at times. Love means instead of reciprocation, we love our neighbors when they slander us. Love means making the choice to work things out instead of relying on a fleeting emotion that can waiver from day to day. Love means holding your tongue, and allowing for another’s faults when they don’t fit the mold we have tried to put them in.
Scripture gives us a clear example of how to love our neighbor. To love our neighbor is the second greatest commandment (Mark 12:31), and Jesus lived out the perfect example of love when He died on the cross for the very people that put Him there. Love is sometimes making the choice to forgive, not because we want to, but because we are commanded to (Colossians 3:13).
Love is sometimes turning the other cheek, and sometimes love is telling the truth even when is difficult. How are we living out love? Are we making love suit us, or are we loving as Scripture says to love? This week, let us love when it is difficult, let us love when it is messy, and let us look to our example of love: Jesus Christ.
Father, I know to love in the way You love us is impossible because I have a sinful heart. Forgive me when I refuse to forgive, and help me to see others the way You see them. Sometimes it is difficult to be obedient to Your Word and love in the way You have commanded, but I want to. Holy Spirit, convict me when I am relying on my emotions over what the Word of God tells me. Thank You for Your ultimate love, Father. Amen.
What does love mean to you? There are 4 types of “love” expressed in the Bible: Eros, Philo, Storge, and Agape. Look these words up. How do we practice these types of love? How does knowing what agape love looks like change the way we live?
Chelsi Woods is the coffee-loving Content Manager for Whole Magazine and a writer for the Reformed Outlook. She is a Jesus-loving, tattooed soccer mom to a beautiful, blue-eyed 12-year-old girl and “Choo-Choo” to a 9-year-old nephew and 4-year-old niece. Her hobbies include communicating in gifs, playing guitar, and bad dad jokes. Chelsi’s passionate pursuit is to teach women solid, Biblical truths focused on spiritual growth, loving God with our minds, all while glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.