Reflections From a CBM Intern – What is Love?

By CBM National Intern, Sarah Pafford

“Jesus loves you.” This is a statement most of us have grown up hearing even if we weren’t raised in a Christian home. Jesus has always been known to love the unlovable and to love unconditionally. But do we truly live as such? Or do we live a daily defeated life where we feel we need to constantly earn His love for us? (Which we never could.) And what is love anyway? Is it the affection we show to a dear friend, family member, or significant other?

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What is love?
This is a question I’ve been mulling over this week…really getting down to the fact of the matter, past the world’s view, not to mention digging away at my own tainted view. We live in a culture that is so in love with the idea of love. The majority of our movies and shows revolve around this worldly perspective, which, as Christians, we too can so easily get distracted with. We live in a fallen world that has tried so desperately to create love, though in so doing we have blinded ourselves to the truth. This is a dangerous line to walk because “the heart is deceitful above all else.” We can easily convince ourselves to believe this view of love. So how can we know what love really is? How did God intend us to view something He has so intricately designed?

Like in any other instance where we would seek out God and His truth, there’s no better way than to go straight to the source, His Word. I went to a classic description of love in 1 John 4:7-21. In His word, there is no way around what love is. God is love. These three words are so simple yet so complex. God Himself is love! He has shown love through sending and sacrificing His Son. Love is purely God and God alone. There is NO love outside of Him. Just look further into the examples scattered throughout the New and Old Testaments where God showed His love, whether in subtle whispers or in overwhelming shouts. He IS love and when He reveals Himself to us, that IS LOVE.

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Imagine if we truly lived our lives believing this fact. Imagine the confidence living a life of reliance on this pure love, AND what if we strived to reflect that love to the ones around us – not a selfish, self-satisfying love, but a selfless and fervent love?
This is something I have found myself challenged to do through reading His word about how we are called to reflect this love in our lives, to strive daily to live fully in the love of God, and to shine in that way to everyone around us. And now, since I’ve been fighting my personal view and replacing it with God’s original truth, I am striving to be intentional with this love because it is a precious gift from our Creator who, Himself, is love.

How do you find yourself viewing love nowadays?

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