The second Sunday of Advent calls us to love.
What do the scriptures regarding “Christian love” really mean?
Is it a warm fuzzy feeling?
I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling for everyone I meet, Christian or otherwise — does that mean I’m not saved? No, a “warm fuzzy feeling” is not the biblical definition for “love”.
According to Matthew’s Gospel, the very essence of the Law and the Prophets is to love God and to love others. And we see this term “the Law and the Prophets” used in one other place in Matthew’s Gospel. It’s in this passage that we find the Biblical definition for love: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
Christian love will show itself in a believer’s doings. It will make him ready to do kind acts to everyone within his reach, “both to their bodies and souls. It will not let him be content with soft words and kind wishes. It will make him diligent in doing all that lies in his power to lessen the sorrow and increase the happiness of others. Like his Master, he will care more for ministering than for being ministered to, and will look for nothing in return. Like his Master’s great apostle, he will very willingly “spend and be spent” for others, even though they repay him with hatred, and not with love. True love does not want wages. Its work is its reward.
Christian love will show itself in a believer’s readiness to bear evil as well as to do good. It will make him . . .
- patient under provocation,
- forgiving when injured,
- meek when unjustly attacked,
- quiet when slandered.
It will make him bear much and forbear much, put up with much and look over much, submit often and deny himself often–all for the sake of peace. It will make him put a strong bit on his temper, and a strong bridle on his tongue.
True love is not always asking, “What are my rights? Am I treated as I deserve?” but, “How can I best promote peace? How can I do that which is most edifying to others?”
This week I challenge you to live in love. I challenge you to bring love.