Thinking About God, Love, and Other People

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image credit: Jim Lepage

I’ve been thinking about love lately. Not the romantic kind, but the community kind of love. It’s the love that you have for your friends, the group of people you do life with. It could arguably be considered as important to your life as romantic love is.

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Scripture talks about love with a great deal of emphasis. In the Bible, God says some variation of “love me” and “love people” so many times, they’re considered the primary commands by which we should live.

After reading a bit of the letters of 1st John and 2nd John, some principles became apparent. If you haven’t read those letters in Scripture, I’d highly recommend it, even if you’re not into Christian spirituality. There are some pretty powerful ideas to consider.

“Most of us don’t need more information, we need more love.”
– Bob Goff

Here are a few of the ideas rumbling around in my brain, mostly from thinking on what Scripture says:

God, Truth, Faith, and Love

  • Truth motivates love. When we know who God is, and who he’s made us to be, and how much his love transforms our lives — it is then we are able to really love other people.
  • To love is to express the presence of God.
  • We cannot claim to be a member of God’s family if we do not love the other people God calls his children.
  • Fear takes over when we fail to love. Authentic love is stronger than fear, and can drive us to overcome our fears.
  • Jesus modeled love by being generous. How can we express more love by being more generous?
  • “Love God” and “love people” are the oldest and the newest commandments. They encompass everything else.
  • We are able to truly love people when we’ve been impacted and changed by the truth of Jesus’ grace and peace extended to us.
  • We can love God by loving other people. Since God commands us to “love one another,” we simultaneously love others and obey God as an expression of love to him. Crazy, huh?
  • Loving God involves keeping away “from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.” Something that takes the place of God is an idol, which is something he tells us to reject because he is the only one deserving of that role in our lives.
  • Knowing Jesus is knowing our place in God’s family, a family that loves each other.
“No man was ever more loving than Jesus Christ. Yet even His love made people angry. His love was a perfect love, a transcendent and holy love, but HIs very love brought trauma to people.
This kind of love is so majestic we can’t stand it.” 

― R.C. Sproul

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What ideas about love strike you? What do you disagree with?

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2 responses to “Thinking About God, Love, and Other People

  1. I really liked this: We cannot claim to be a member of God’s family if we do not love the other people God calls his children.

    What do you think about this statement?
    We cannot claim to be a member of God’s family if we do not love our enemies.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Jeremiah.
      Your phrase, “We cannot claim to be a member of God’s family if we do not love our enemies,” is definitely in the same vein as the first idea. It seems that “loving one another” is a principle mark of those following Jesus, so if we find ourselves unable to love our enemies, it would seem we’re having trouble with the magnitude of grace and love Jesus insists upon.

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