The statement “Love Wins” keeps popping up all over the Internet, often in response to the many shootings and other tragedies our nation has been experiencing. With all the hurt and bitterness in existence, love seems to be the only viable alternative.
Many people, via news platforms and personal social media accounts, have been repeating, “Love conquers all anger and hate. So we just need to love people.”
How accurate is that statement? And, is loving people really achievable?
The World’s Definition
From a secular viewpoint, love is a feeling. The world has contaminated our understanding of love by having us believe that “love” makes us feel good, and even that it’s okay to sacrifice moral principles and others’ rights in order to obtain such “love.”
Unfortunately, many Christians today do not really know how to love. Or, perhaps more accurately stated, we don’t know how to love like God loves.
Our problem is not necessarily that we don’t love God, but that we don’t know how to love those around us. It’s not easy. In fact, it feels much easier to love God than to love people. As author Gary Thomas observed,
On one level, it’s easy to love God because God doesn’t smell. God doesn’t have bad breath. God doesn’t reward kindness with evil. God doesn’t make berating comments. Loving God is easy, in this sense. But Jesus really let us have it when he attached our love for God with our love for other people.
When we view people through our human eyes, we see them as sinful, critical, hurtful, and mean. We may try to love them because we know we should, but we just can’t seem to “feel” love toward them.
We can attempt to love people on our own, but there’s so much more to it than we realize. Loving others doesn’t necessarily mean giving gifts or just liking them.
The Bible’s definition of the love that wins is much bigger. According to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, love is actually a choice, and it involves action: “Love is patient, love is kind,” etc.
God sees us through His eyes as the dirty rotten sinners we are (were), yet He still chose to send His Son as a sacrifice for our sin. His love for us is the real deal (1 John 4:10).
So John instructs us, “Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other” (1 John 4:11 NLT). The love in the last part of this verse is the Greek word agapē, and it’s the kind of love that is sacrificial and selfless.
How We Get There
In order to be able to love, we first must understand God’s love for us and return to our first love for Him. Only then can we pour out that love on those around us as God has done for us.
Revivalist Vance Havner said, “Revival is the Church falling in love with Jesus all over again.” When we learn to love the Lord with every ounce of our being, it begins to overflow to others. We won’t be able to help loving those who may or may not deserve it. First Corinthians 13 becomes the normal expression of everyone who has been transformed by the love of Christ.
Does your love for God overflow into your love for others, especially those you have a hard time agreeing with? Is your love for others patient and kind? Does it envy or boast? Is it arrogant or rude? Does it insist on its own way? Is it irritable or resentful? Does it rejoice at wrongdoing or at truth? Does it bear, hope, and endure all things?
If that’s not the case in your life, return to your first love for Jesus Christ!
In the midst of all that’s going on in our nation, let’s love God with all our heart and see people like we may have never seen them before—through the eyes of God.
Love as the world understands it simply cannot win. But loving like God does … is true victory!