What's Love All About

by Paul Damon on June 27, 2016 | Christian Insights

Father Sirico has said that if he were love, he would sue for misrepresentation.

The word "love" has been so misused and misunderstood that today, its true meaning is barely even recognizable. Our culture has twisted the word into something that is more about self than it is about others.  

Love Gone Wrong in the Spotlight

Illustration of a hand holding a heart, to represent biblical love

I’ve attended a few big concerts performed by popular musicians, and in most cases, I’ve seen an interesting example of our culture’s confusion about love: at some point in the show—often near the end—the performer will exclaim to the cheering audience, "I love you all!!"  

Now really, let's think about that. Does this artist actually love every single one of the human beings in attendance? More likely, this is what the performer really means:

  • I love listening to you cheering and screaming and telling me that you love me!
  • I love how it makes me feel to be here as you celebrate and worship me!
  • I love the money that you’ve spent to attend my concert and help make me rich!

In this example, the speaker uses the word “love” to reference numerous ways that he or she is receiving love—rather than giving it. It’s a system where my love for you is based on what you do for me and how you make me feel.

And that is a problem. A huge problem.

The Problem with Misrepresenting Love

Love has become focused on self instead of others. What does this do to our concept of marriage, parenting, serving, and giving?

If marriage is built on a love that’s defined by what you do for me, and my spouse has the same perspective, we are headed for a very unhappy relationship—one that will probably end in divorce.  

In fact, a saddening number of marriages last less than 1 year! 

God’s View of Love

The secular worldview focuses on self and using others to benefit self. In short, it’s exactly the opposite of God’s definition of love.

God defines love according to what He can do for us. And this is how he wants us to love others as well.

Ti voglio bene, an Italian way of saying “I love you,” literally means “I will your good.” In other words, it’s not all about what you can do for me.

Love in our Service & Giving

The incorrect definition of love also has significant impact on our giving and serving.

If we view our relationship with God and His church according to the world’s confused and selfish definition, then we will only be interested in what God and the church can do for us.  

But if we love God with an accurate understanding of love, we will want to serve Him and give all we can to Him. If we truly love God according to His definition of the term, we will generously serve Him in his church, give to His church, and give to charities that serve others.  

If we truly love God, we will give of ourselves, offering Him our time, talent, and treasure for the advancement of His Kingdom. 

May God grant you grace and mercy as you seek to be a good and faithful steward of all His resources.

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