Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017: The Year of Love - Step One: What is Love?

In my last post, I proclaimed 2017 the Year of Love, and I promised to come back with some ideas.  But before we get to the how, we need to understand the what.  What is love?

The word "Love" is pretty over-used these days.  We love our spouse, our children, our parents, our pets, and ice cream.  We might love our favorite TV show.  We might love the color green.  Or maybe we love roses.  Of course, we love God.  The English language doesn't give us a whole lot of options for differentiating between these types of "love."  But we really can't put ice cream and God in the same category. 

I think the biggest problem is that we treat the word Love as a feeling.  So any time we feel fondness for something or someone, we say we love it or them.  But this Year of Love is not about a warm, fuzzy feeling.  This year, we are going to learn love as an action.  Not as something we feel, but something that we choose to do.  

In order to do something, we have to have some instruction.  So here's your first step.  From 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, the Contemporary English Version of the Bible reads:

Love is kind and patient,
never jealous, boastful,
    proud, or rude.
Love isn’t selfish
    or quick tempered.
It doesn’t keep a record
    of wrongs that others do.
Love rejoices in the truth,
    but not in evil.
Love is always supportive,
loyal, hopeful,
    and trusting.
Love never fails! 

If you notice, this is a short list of what love is, and what it isn't.  So your first assignment is to get a piece of paper and make two columns.  Head the first column "Love Is" and the second "Love Isn't."  Then go through these verses and sort them out.  The passage begins "Love is kind," so the first word in the "Love Is" column would be "kind."  If you don't like this version, feel free to get out your favorite bible and look up the scripture.  
That's it!  Keep watching for the next post in the series.  And please feel free to share it with your friends.  Let's use this year to spread love!

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