Understanding love these days, especially from a Christian point of view, is quite tricky. The world has its definitions for love, but when you consider them, they are all warped. Understanding love in its purest form requires us to view it from a biblical standpoint. Why?
1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love.” The best way to understand love is to see how God defines it in His Word. This post will show you eight characteristics of true love as defined by the scriptures.
The world sees love from the standpoints of relationship, romance, and reciprocation. However, none of these standpoints truly explain love in the ways God has expressed it to us. When you look at the scriptures, you will discover that love is completely different.
Love is the word “agape” in Hebrew. This love is unconditional, not dependent on any action carried out by the recipient. It is the basis of our faith, as we didn’t do anything deserving of God’s love, yet He loved us with an everlasting love.
The love we see in the scriptures is impartial, empowering, and all-consuming and resides in each of us. It is a true representation of God Himself. This is why you cannot profess to know God if you don’t experience and express this kind of love.
Understanding Love – The Characteristics of True Love
How do you know true love considering that there are so many definitions of this term today? Understanding love, as mentioned earlier, is only possible through the scriptures. We will show you eight characteristics of true love below:
It is sacrificial (John 3:16)
God set the perfect example when He sent His Son to come and die on our behalf. We should be the ones to suffer what Jesus Christ suffered. John 3:16 makes the sacrifice more evident. Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son. Yet, He sent that Son to die just to save us and give us eternal life. If you truly love anyone, then you must be ready to sacrifice everything for that person.
It doesn’t expect anything in return (Romans 5:8)
True love doesn’t expect anything in return. Romans 5:8-10 tells us that God loved us while we were sinners. He should have hated us because He cannot behold sin. Yet, while we were His enemies, He loved us and showed it by sending His Son to die for us. You don’t need the other party to do anything for you to love them truly.
It banishes fear (1 John 4:18)
In the presence of true love, fear cannot exist. True love banishes fear, insecurities, and anxieties. All of these factors constitute torment to our souls. According to 1 John 4:18, “there is no fear in love.” Instead, it drives out fear completely.
It is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Patience is a virtue that is becoming quite lacking in our world today. We are always on the fast lane and want everything done quickly. Once we don’t get what we want from people, we begin to act irrationally. Christians cannot act in this manner. True love, according to 1 Corinthians 13:4 is patient. As such, we can tolerate suffering, pain, hurt, behaviors, and so on without getting angry or complaining.
It is kind (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Kindness is another virtue that is fast ebbing out in our world. People will hardly look at the needs of others as long as they are comfortable. However, God expects us to be gentle and compassionate towards others. If we claim we have true love, then we must feel the pains of others as well as their joys. We must be caring towards our neighbors and even our enemies.
It is trusting (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Trust is a word that is fast losing its value. People hardly trust each other these days. However, true love is always trusting. It recognizes the good in others and will still make excuses for them when they make mistakes.
It perseveres (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Despite the challenges that surround it, true love never gives up. It keeps going until it achieves its desire. True love sees light at the end of the tunnel and is ready to keep on until it gets to that light. It is persistent.
It is righteous (1 Corinthians 13:6)
True love will always do the right thing regardless of the conditions around it. It is disciplined to stay true to instructions and rules, even when no one is watching.
As you have seen in this post, understanding love is only possible through the scriptures. We have shared eight characteristics of true love in this post. What other characteristics of love do you know? Kindly check out other insightful posts on GodKulture.