Have you noticed how our culture became the culture of “I”? Everything is about oneself. Everyone is trying to find pleasure, happiness, satisfaction – for themselves. People talk a lot about love, but do they have love in their lives?
Try to ask someone how they know that they love someone else. They will tell you all about how they feel when they think about that person or when they are together. What if that feeling vanishes? Does it mean that their love is gone? If so, was that ever love, true love?
More and more we see that the focus is on ourselves. However, Jesus taught us the exact opposite: love is all about the other person. And it’s not about what we feel, but it’s about what we do.
A while back we talked about how love means action, not just a feeling or words. That’s what Jesus showed us with his own life. And there is another lesson that we must learn regarding love: it is completely selfless.
So when it is all about “I”, then it is not love. Love is about the other person, the loved one.
Take a look at what Jesus said would be the ultimate sign of love:
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
For Jesus, showing love is doing something for the loved one. It’s not about feeling happy, good, satisfied, but about giving up the most precious thing you own (your own life) for the one you love.
That concept is easier to grasp for most mothers and fathers when they think about their children. Even if the child is ungrateful or rebellious, the parent still loves them, no matter what. They don’t just give up on the relationship, on being a parent, because the child disappointed them (I know that some parents do, but let’s all agree that those kind of parents don’t know the love that Jesus referred to either).
How can someone know this true love, the kind of love that would make them forget about themselves and put the loved person’s needs above their own?
There is only one way: you have to know the source of the true love. And when I say “know” I mean “be intimate with”. But what am I talking about?
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8, emphasis added by me)
God is love! God doesn’t just feel love, HE IS LOVE! Love is in His composition.
So the only way that we can truly love is when we have a relationship with God and His Holy Spirit is in us.
In this verse, the apostle John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, affirms that if someone doesn’t love, he doesn’t know God. They might be going to the church every Sunday, they might be a good neighbor, a good friend, maybe even someone admired by other people, but if they don’t love, truly love, they don’t know God.
It may seem a tough challenge, loving other people like we love ourselves, but let’s just remember that God is love. So if we want that kind of love, we just have to ask Him, and pursue a relationship with Him.
The more God is active in our lives, the more we will be able to love other people as ourselves. We will live the real true love.
The toughest part is letting go of… “I”.