The Bible describes and defines love:
God is love. ~ 1 John 4:8b
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
One misconception about love is that love is based on the recipient of the love. This is not the case with true love. True love is unconditional. If we ever truly love people, we will not stop loving them based on how they change. Love endures all things and suffers long.
In Genesis chapter two, we read about how God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden. In the midst thereof, He planted the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord commanded Adam, “Of every tree of the garden [of Eden] you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (vs. 16-17 of chapter two).When God created Adam and Eve, they were perfectly blameless and holy. They were His prized possessions, created in His image. Then something changed. They decided to eat of the forbidden tree. Adam and Eve died that day. Not physically, but spiritually. (Eventually they died physically, but before this, sin and death did not exist.) No more could they freely fellowship with a holy God. They would have to suffer the earthly consequences of their actions, which are found in Geneses 3:16-17. Did He forsake them? Did He leave them to wallow in their marred condition? Did He stop loving them? I believe we can find the answers to these questions in part of God’s curse on the serpent: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel.” The woman’s Seed is Jesus. In John 3:16 Jesus says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus died to pay the price of our sins, and through faith in Him, we can have His righteousness accounted to us. If you are believing in Jesus Christ as your Savior, God looks at you and sees not your sin, but the blood and righteousness of His Son. Instead of letting us alone in our sinful state, God went out of His way to make a way for us to have fellowship with Himself once again. If someone stops “loving” you based on changes you have made, chances are that he or she never truly loved you in the first place. Love is sacrifice. God would have been perfectly just to let us rot in hell for eternity, but instead He placed the debt of sin on His Son, because He loved us.
True love does not rejoice in iniquity, but in truth. When we sin, it hurts God because He loves us. Loving truly is tough, mainly because it hurts to see the people around you making mistakes that will hurt them. But love can also bring true joy when we put others first and get to help them. We were all created for a purpose. God has placed certain people in your life for a reason. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment is to truly love them. No one but God can love perfectly. Only by the grace of Jesus Christ can we hope to love truly. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I challenge you to find true love in Christ and then share it with the people around you.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:57