Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
(Matthew 22 36-40)
There has been a lot written about LOVE. But what is it?
As far as I know there is only one definition of love in the bible.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or
rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps
no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but
rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses
faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1
Corinthians 13 4-7 NLT)
Love has 8 parts,
Patient: not jumping to conclusions or
making rash decisions,
Modest: unassuming, humble,
Giving: not jealous or envious,
Forgiving: non demanding or irritable, not holding past transgressions
None judging: accepting others for who they are,
Truthfulness: Honest to ourselves and others,
Enduring: Faithfull, hopeful, never ending.
A lot of people confuse other feelings as LOVE. Desire, greed, envy,
craving, obsession, gluttony, control over others, dependency on
another, and even sex are all feelings and behaviours that we attach
the label of LOVE to. Our sinful nature often gets in our way.
Impatience, envey, pride, unforgiveness, dishonesty and giving up are
all feelings and emotions that may control our lives. How often do we
put conditions on our love for others? How often do we
feel let down because we have not been recognised for what we have
given. How often have we felt like a “mushroom”, or left out of
something? How often have we been the cause of some hurt or damage
because we have felt unloved?
The Greatest Commandment has three parts:
1) Love God,
2) Love thyself,
3) Love others,
1) Love God,
To LOVE GOD is to LOVE life itself, because we are of GOD. To LOVE the
Lord is to LOVE what he has given us. To have a joy in life is to
appreciate what we have been given. God gave us the heavens and the
stars to be amazed by his glory. His signs and wonders are everywhere
to be seen, if we stop to have a look. How often do we take for granted
what GOD has already given us? How often do we do things for our own
instead of our father’s glory?
Our father made the forests and trees perfect in his own image for us
to cherish and look after. We may see a tree and think to our self that
a branch is in the wrong place or some leaves need to be removed. The
more we make the tree perfect in our own image the less perfect it
becomes in our father’s image. Are we not the same? The more we make
ourselves perfect in our own image the less perfect we are in our
A lot of people look for signs, wonders and miracles as our fathers
love for us. I am not saying that there is anything wrong in this. They
are wonderful expressions of his presence. However there is a danger of
becoming preoccupied with these manifestations. A person may become
disappointed when they no longer happen, or, not recognise or
understand where they come from.
I would like to relate an incident a few weeks ago.
I have been giving bread and cakes to a group of people at a community
centre. They are elderly and pensioners. I felt a great sense of
sharing gods love and planting seeds in the harts of those that receive
the food. I remember one week that I did not attend and I heard that
there was some grumbling and disappointment that I was not there. I
think there is a moral in this that when we start taking our father’s
love for granted or put conditions on his love we become disappointed
and blame our father for our troubles.
2) Love thyself,
Jesus clearly states that we must love our neighbour as our self. What
does this mean?
To LOVE our neighbour as our self is to LOVE, honour and respect each
other as we LOVE, honour and respect ourselves. To do unto others as we
would have them do unto us. This is not vanity or pride, but a LOVE and
peace in our heart and a good will to our selves and others.
How can we love our partner if we don’t love our self?
How can we love
our children or parents if we don’t love our self?
How can we love our
enemies if we don’t love our self?
Sometimes we are our own worst
enemy. When things don’t go the way we want. When the world crashes
around us we can become angry and bitter and look for love in all the
Some people look for love in violence; they love to hate.
Some people look for love in drugs.
Some people look for love in prostitution.
Some people look for love in money and power.
Some people look for love in cults and religion.
Some people look for love in their pets.
If we can not be kind to our self we can not be kind to others.
If we can not be patient to our self we can not be patient to others.
If we can not be giving to our self we can not be giving to others.
If we can not be humble to our self we can not be humble to others.
If we can not forgive our self we can not forgive others.
If we can not be accepting to our self we can not be accepting to
If we can not be honest to our self we can not be honest to others.
If we can not be enduring to our self we can not be enduring to others.
I spent 20 or so years loving people with high support needs that no
one else loved. I put the needs of others above my own needs. I forgot
about myself. I became depressed, fragile, withdrawn and lonely. I have
been to a place where there is nothing and it is not good. Through
the love that I have received I feel more confident and at peace
with myself. I have met some wonderful people with lots of love to give.
3) Love others,
It is only by LOVING others with a genuine LOVE that comes from our
father that we can live fulfilled lives.
LOVE does not come from outside, but from inside. It is the genuine
LOVE for others that comes from GOD the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
that makes us whole. GOD does not judge. GOD does not destroy. GOD is
patient. GOD accepts us for who we are. GOD LOVES us, so shouldn’t we
love each other. God made us in his own image. God is LOVE and the Holy
Spirit lives in us all.
How can we hurt another person if we have a genuine unconditional LOVE
for them? After all didn’t Jesus remind us that while it is OK to LOVE
our brothers we are no better than anyone else? It is only when we have
a genuine unconditional LOVE for our enemies that we really know our
Does a husband LOVE his wife? Does a wife LOVE her husband? Does a
father/mother LOVE his/her children? Does a child LOVE his/her parents?
But how do we show our love to others? Unfortunately there are a lot of
people who have not experienced this genuine LOVE that comes from our
father. Love to some is being abused physically or mentally. Love to
others is being locked away or abandoned, or a complete lack of
empathy, respect or interest. We can also give to another any amount of
physical bits and pieces, but if we have not given them LOVE we have
given them nothing.
We all have trials and tribulations in life. If anyone thinks that they
are no longer sinners then they are sadly mistaken. Whatever happens
there are going to be good and bad times. Sin is not against our father
(we have been forgiven) but against each other. How often do we blame
our father or others for our own troubles? We are not perfect, but love
is made perfect in us through our love for each other. Love is more
than any human desire. It is the embodiment of life itself.