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Love is more than a feeling | Worship

 

Last updated 2/24/2016 at Noon



February is the month of love. Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but love is still in the air.

It was John Lennon who said, “All you need is love.” But what did he mean by that?

Love is hard to define. It’s tragic that the English language contains only one word for “love,” and that this word has become so inane.

These days, people use it to describe their craving for hamburgers, their worship of movie stars, their sentimental romantic notions or their lust for sexual gratification.

When it comes to personal relationships, love is probably most often thought of as a feeling – a wonderful feeling, at that.

You know how it goes, you meet somebody: The attraction is electric, and you fall desperately, hopelessly in love!

It just happens to you, like lightening. The feeling is euphoric. The ecstasy is thrilling. The romance begins.

You can’t eat. You can’t sleep. You become infatuated with the other person and can’t get them out of your mind.

In your imagination, you picture yourself heading off into the sunset, hand in hand with the love of your life, living happily ever after.

We all love the feeling of being in love. Romance is wonderful. The trouble is, the feeling just doesn’t last and, therefore, it cannot serve as the basis of a lasting relationship – marriage in particular.

Feelings are fickle. They come and go. Life, real life, inevitably settles in, with all its trials and troubles.

Romantic attraction initiates a relationship, but doesn’t sustain one. Romantic love, while hopefully rekindled frequently in a marriage, will inevitably give way to a quieter, but stronger, deeper kind of love.

That love is based not on feeling, but on action. A decision of the will to care for the other person “for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.”

This deeper kind of love is the kind of love described by the Apostle Paul in the Bible. It is what is called “agape love.” It is a love that cares more for others than for self.

It is geared toward serving others, and it has to do with practicing certain virtues.

We are challenged to “agape” others by exhibiting compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with each other and forgiving one another as Christ has forgiven us.

These things we can practice, even if we don’t “feel” particularly loving.

The most famous “love” passage in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its on way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, bur rejoices in the truth.

“It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”

Such love reflects God’s great love for us. It is unconditional, outgoing and never gives up.

Love is more than a feeling. Love is a verb.

It is something we do. It is a choice we make every day.

Let us choose this day to love others as God has loved us.

Mark Smith is the senior pastor of Mukilteo Presbyterian Church. The Presbyterian church is at 4514 84th Street SW in Mukilteo. For more information, visit http://www.mpclife.com.

 

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