Loving people is so central to our experience as Christ followers (John 13:35); Christ’s love is meant to flow out of us as a testimony of him in our lives.
There are four types of love.
- Storge—empathy bond.
- Philia—friend bond.
- Eros—erotic bond.
- Agape—unconditional “God” love.
God calls us to love everyone, he also warns us not to open our hearts to people who behave certain ways. We are instructed, “Above all else, love one another deeply,” (1 Peter 4:8) and also, “Above all else, guard your heart…” (Proverbs 4:23). In the long run, this balance protects our ability to love others with a full and healthy love. When we tatter our hearts by pinning them on people or relationships that are emotionally or spiritually toxic, it depletes our ability to be healthy and loving in other, more deserving relationships.
If you wonder what kinds of people and behaviors the Bible instructs us not to have close relationships with, I share some personal experience with this principle here. Be wise with your heart. If you profess to be a Christian, your heart is not your own. You were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 7:23) and the one who paid for you instructs you to be wise in how you share your heart with others.