WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Tina Turner recorded a hit song called “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” The chorus says,
“What’s love got to do, got to do with it; What’s love but a second hand emotion”…
Those words pose an interesting question. What does love have to do with things? How does it play in life? And while we are at it, what exactly is love?
We say we love our families, our friends; we love our cars, jobs, and boats. We love French fries, chocolate, a certain baseball team, golf, TV. We talk a lot about love, having love, being in love falling in or out of love. But do we really understand the concept of love?
The thing about love is that it is so misunderstood. Its not an emotion, even a second hand one as that song says. Yes, emotions do play a part in the love equation, but only partially. Love is really a verb. Love takes action on the part of the one doing the loving. Love is someone demonstrating the attributes of love to someone else. It takes effort to be loving, and it takes self-less tactics in order to do so. Love involves a relationship of some kind; involvement on some level with what one loves.
Someone posed this question in a discussion I was participating in recently. As a Christian, what is the most important trait that you feel should be displayed by Christians? In other words, if you had to decide what the focus of Christianity SHOULD be, what would it be?
I believe the focus of Christians is really simple. LOVE. In fact we are commanded to have that as our focus.
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important. Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt 23:37-39 NLT)
The problem we face is that all too often "me' gets in the way. We seem to have no trouble at all loving ourselves. We put “me” first everyone else second. When showing love, we first want to get love, or maybe just do something we want to do, then maybe when we get done with that, and aren't too tired from the effort, we maybe, if it isn't too hard, boring or demanding; if we don't look silly, won't get dirty, won't have to pay a lot, then maybe we can look at others to see if they need some love.
Loving others is a deliberate decision we make. We know we love ourselves, and we are supposed to love others. How do we find the balance between loving ourselves too much (or too little), and loving others?
Romans 13:10 says, “Love does no harm to its neighbors, therefore it is a fulfillment of the law.”(NIV) It’s obvious that we don’t want any harm to come to ourselves. If we by loving others do no harm to them, we can be pretty sure we are doing love correctly.
1 Corinthians 13 to me is required reading on love. It pretty much lays down the proper definition of love. You can do an interesting experiment. Beginning in verse 4, every time you see the word love, put your name there. When you do, what do you notice? Is what is said truthful, all the time? No I mean every single solitary time. Now put God's name in place of the word love. Notice the huge difference? Is what is said truthful every single time? Absolutely? Part of who God is, is love. His love for us is the only kind of love that is unrestrained, and unconditional, perfectly consistent all the time.
Can we be unrestrained, unconditional, consistently loving people of God? Not alone we can't. We need something better than us giving us the ability to love properly, completely and constantly. We of course need an example to follow. Our Savior, Jesus Christ who is a visible, verbal example for eyes that see and ears that hear. Thankfully we have plenty of examples from Christ to show us how to be effective loving people. His words were backed up by His deeds, revolutionary, yet compassionate, kind and always selfless. His greatest example is of course the cross. He even told us why He had to go there.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that who-ever 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 3:16-17 NLT)
True we are commanded to preach the gospel, to spread the good news of Christ's greatest love demonstration. The best way to spread that good news is by way of loving others. St. Augustine's statement on this is so true. He says.
“Preach the gospel daily, if necessary use words.”
How on earth do we do that? By being so enamored of Our Lord that we are ridiculous about it, exuding our delight in the fact that He is Our Lord. When we do, it makes it really easy to spread that delightful love to everyone we meet. Romans 12:9-21 tells us to love sincerely, wholeheartedly, yet joyfully, being kind in word and in deed not only to our friends and family but also to our enemies.
True love is seriously contagious. It's spread extremely easily through many methods. Methods like graciousness, generosity, thankfulness, mercy, being quick to forgive, communicate and share. Those methods cannot help but display and promote true love. The only successful prevention against love includes, selfishness, envy, greed, gossip, bigotry, hatred etc. When properly exercised, true love changes lives in ways we never expect, but always in wonderful ways.
I personally want to be an incurable love spreading contagion. . I want to infect as many as I can with what God has infected me with, His amazing, complete, perfect love. I want to be so filled with His love that it floods out of me and to all I come into contact with. I know that the only way that I can exude true love is by depending on the God who is love, and who loves, and gives love so extremely generously.
1 Cor. 13:1-13 (NASB)
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have the gift of prophesy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,  does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,  does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part;  but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.  When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.  But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.