How to know what "love" is

A thought for the day... How do we know what love is? The word "love" is tossed around in our culture in so many different ways that it can easily lose any specific content and meaning. Since love is a very important word to us Christians, it is critical that we know what love is.

The apostle John gives us two ways to know love. One is that we connect with Jesus through story. We read and digest the stories written about Jesus in the Gospel of John and the other Gospels. For John, God is love, and Jesus is the human face of God's character. If you want to see what God's love looks like, immerse yourself in the stories about Jesus.

The other way is through engaging in love. Love cannot be known in abstraction. It can only be known in the act of loving. As John says, "God is love... Everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God; the unloving know nothing of God" (1 Jn 4:4, 7-8).

Says NT scholar George Caird, "Only those who, like Jesus, have allowed their lives to be channels of divine love can be said to know either love or God."

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