There are different kinds of love. There is the love of a parent, a spouse, a friend and ice cream. Then there is the love that comes from God and this is called “agape.” It’s derived from the ancient Greek and is a Greco-Christian term. Essentially it refers to a love in its highest form. This love is a two-way street for us. It is Christ’s love for us that is an unconditional love.
This love goes beyond the love you may have for another human being and supersedes any earthly love. Author Matthew J. White explained what exactly what unconditional love necessitates. “Unconditional love that is always giving and impossible to take or be a taker. It devotes total commitment to seeking your highest best no matter how anyone may respond.”
This form of love is selfless and does not adjust when treatment is harsh or good. This means loving the unlovely, yourself, family and your spouse despite your sentiments of the contrary. Here are 6 Bible lessons about love to consider today.
1. It’s Not Boastful
We are told to not gloat about tomorrow, for you do not know what the next day may bring. Jeremiah 9:23 warned: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches.” There are 15 more references in the Bible that discuss the act of bragging, and why it’s foolish and harmful.
There is a difference between working hard and talking about the fruit of your labor and telling everyone how great you are. When we go ahead and brag to others on how great you have it, you could be diminishing them as not everyone is enjoying life.
For example, if someone lost their job, bragging about your new luxury bag is probably not the thing to do. So, put a zip on your boastfulness because it’s tacky.
2. It’s Patient
Are you long-tempered? If not, you’re not a parent. Long tempered is just another name for being patient. When we are patient, we are slow to anger and can tolerate more injustices. If we are going to be transparent, none of us want to be patient with kids, spouses, co-workers or anyone because it takes so much work.
But this doesn’t jive either. In Philippians 4:6-7, we are told to relax, and go to God for relief and strength. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Allow the peace of God to guard the heart and mind when an attack of impatience comes.
God knew we would need help with this as well. The Bible mentions patience numerous times and in the Greek, it is used most often as “hypomenō.” This means “to remain, to abide or to bear bravely and calmly.” Selfless love is always patient, so no wonder it can be found in Scripture.
3. It Doesn’t Repay For Evil
We need to get to the point where we don’t allow hate and anger to control our lives when we are mistreated. When tough times roll in, we surely shy away from kindness when we are hurt at home or at work.
Jesus said, “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same thing.” He said to love our enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, we need to listen.
Bible.org shared that the proving ground for kindness will always start in the home. “Are you kind to your wife and children? Do you do kind, useful things for them? Are you training your children to be kind to one another?” If you answered these questions with a “no” we have some work to do.
4. It Overcomes Jealousy
When we come from a place of love, there will be a decline in jealousy. Many problems in relationships may be rocky because of jealousy. Remember the story of Cain and Abel? “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” God showed favor upon Abel’s sacrifice because it was an offering that came from his best and from his heart. Cain’s didn’t offer God his best.
The results of this action led to Cain’s land being cursed with his brother’s blood. Nothing good comes from resentment, so think about this when you step into an unloving mood or action. Jealousy could be the source of your conflicts and the way you react to people in life.
5. It Heals Anger
We are not perfect as we’re all human, right? Point taken, but when anger continues to burn, there is a problem. That is why the Scriptures always condemn internalizing anger and being angry in general. The apostle Paul admonished, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Anger is a very toxic emotion and totally devoid of love. Letting hatred go will help you from playing the identical situation over in your head.
Holding onto anger will further compromise the digestive system and the cardiovascular system. It may also trigger hives, migraines and cause you to not sleep as well. “Anger — where you express it indirectly or go to great lengths to control it, is associated with heart disease,” Everyday Health reported.
6. It Crushes Gossip
The Bible teaches us that love doesn’t broadcast the problems of others or gossips. Love doesn’t run down others with jokes, sarcasm or put-downs. Love defends the character of the other person as much as possible within the limits of truth.
“Love won’t lie about weaknesses, but neither will it deliberately expose and emphasize them,” author and pastor Steve Cole shared. We are not to allow negative words out of our mouths “But only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear,” we can find in Ephesians 4:29.
If you want to vent to someone, go to God first before airing the dirty laundry of another. Love can crush gossip, but avoiding it can also help.