Love is one of the most misunderstood and misused words in the English language. It causes much consternation and even confusion and is often used to verbally bash and abuse.
For example, love is often misapplied with lust, infatuation, passion or desire. One is physical, the other obviously is emotional and even spiritual.
But perhaps the biggest exploitation of the word today is when we confuse it with the acceptance of individuals. Some will tell you that if you don’t approve of a lifestyle or the actions of another, that you don’t love them. But it’s possible to disapprove and even disagree scripturally, personally or even politically, and still love someone and want the best for them.
Merriam Webster says that love is the “…unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.” Love speaks the truth and encourages. Perhaps one of the most oft-quoted scriptures is included at the end. It’s a tall order for anyone to fulfill, but it’s also a better definition than Merriam-Webster.
Take a moment and read through the biblical definition of love below. As you do, think of the person with whom you disagree with most and see if you can apply the traits. Love is first on the list of fruits of the spirit. Accidental? Coincidental? Probably not, since it’s nigh impossible to move on to the others without establishing love in your heart. Think about it.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ~1 Corinthians 13:4-8.