The definition of true love

Published 6:35 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

By Dean Kelly

Minister, Highland Home Church of Christ

I have never heard anyone who was able to give a true definition of love. We can talk about love. We can describe the effects of love, but it is very difficult to define. Maybe that is why it is one of the most abused and misused words in the English language. Too often “love” and “lust” are confused.

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The beloved Apostle Paul, in speaking of the superiority of love, gives an inspired description of what love is. As you read these verses keep in mind the overall theme he presents: love is selfless, it considers the object loved before it does itself. The description applies to our love for God, our love for fellow Christians, our love for humanity, our love for our mates, and our love for our families. It is from one of the four Greek words that could be translated love. It is agape love, the truest forms of love should grow from this type of love. Listen to Paul’s description:

“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, 6 it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB

If we can put these attributes into our hearts, we can truthfully love. We will treat the one we love with respect. We won’t hold their mistakes against them. We will have true love!

Of course, the ultimate expression of unselfish love is seen on that hill of Calvary. To truly love to the fullest, we need to meet at the cross where love was epitomized for us!