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  • Writer's pictureJill Ball

What is love?

The truth is that we have been sold a lie. The love seen in popular culture is a pale, weak reflection of the reality.

At times the love that is held up is so self-centred,

that it doesn’t deserve to be called love at all.

I remember some cute cartoons which started with Love is…

for example -

Love is never having to say sorry

Human beings have a tendency to sin and selfishness. Of course we need to say sorry!

This shows a basic lack of understanding of the human condition.

Love at first sight

The love we mainly sing about is all about romantic love, which is fine, but it's only one example of the human experience of love.

Is there such a thing as love at first sight?

Clearly, we can be attracted to someone when we first meet them, but is it possible to immediately love them so much that we would sacrifice everything for them? Maybe not.

He First Loved Us

God showed us what love is.

It is giving.

It is sacrificing everything, even our own lives.

It is giving to another what we value and love the most.

This is how God showed his love among us:
He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
This is love:
not that we first loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1 John 4 v 9,10

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3 v 16

What is Love?

Love is not about finding someone who understands us, or interests us.

Love is not about someone we find attractive.

Love is not about meeting our needs.

Love is not a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Love is not just an emotion.

Love is all about the other person.

Love is about understanding.

It’s about showing interest in others – in fact putting the interest of others before ourselves.

Love is about caring for the needs of others.

Love is a decision.

God is love

Love is the Father giving his one and only Son.

Love is Jesus sacrificing himself for us.

This is divine love.

I started with the wrong question.

The question is not What is love, but Who is love?

In this series we are looking at the nature of love and different kinds of love.

I've not divided them up using the Greek words as C S Lewis did in his classic book,

The Four Loves, but I know this is a book that has influenced me.

Instead, I categorised the series by considering the object of our love.

What is love? - an introduction

Love of Money

Love your sister and brother

Love of self

Love your enemy

Love the Lord your God

My song is love unknown

One of my all-time, favourite hymns, beautifully sung.

Read more about how Jesus showed us the extent of his love for us, when he died on The Cross

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