Before we can fully understand what love is – we have to find out what love ain’t.
Some years back in 1971, there was a Coke ad with a group of young people singing “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company – it is the real thing.”
The lyrics are:
“I’d like to buy the world a home; and furnish it with love
Grow apple trees and honey bees and snow white turtle doves.
I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.”
That’s the real thing
Last week’s Sunday Dialogue was “Looking for Love in all the wrong places.”
Taking a better look at what love is not can help in understanding what love really is since the word has been bandied about so much , it has lost its true meaning.
Looking around the world today and sharing a coke will certainly not bring about love in the sense that people need today. People need the kind of love that is not expressed in a Hallmark Valentine card. People need real love, sustaining love, abiding love, and committed love… the real thing.
Since God is love and without God there is no love, we need to take a look at the source of all love. The Bible uses the word love five-hundred and thirty-three times. The Bible is the best source of what real love is over any other source.
The absence of love in a person’s life is the root of all human problems….
1 Corinthians 13
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. …”
Love was meant to be bestowed on people and not things. We frivolously use the word love of things and sadly the word is used just as flippant when we say we love others. If we love French fries, and then say we love another person what value does that have?
Today the world is more in love with money than people. Money cannot buy love. Fame and prestige cannot buy love. Popularity cannot buy love; politics cannot by love because love cannot be bought.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:10
There have been hundreds of songs written about love and just as many movies and books. But most of them all miss the mark. Love is not sex. Love is not just being in a relationship. Love is not allowing things to be more important than people. Love is not what the movies claim that it is….
Love does not hurt others. Love is not abuse. Love is not selfishness. Love is not having your own way. Love is not needing another person or thing to satisfy personal wants and desires.
Love is not just a warm fuzzy feeling… Love is not having your own way all the time. Love is not what we expect of others; but what we expect of ourselves. Also, not every person who says that they love you really means it. Love is what you give… not what you just expect to be given to you.
If someone loves you then you don’t always have to second guess them and continually need to be told in words – love is action. When a person is truly loved, they will know it and they will not have to continually ask, “Do you love me?”
What the world needs now is love sweet love as sung by Diana Ross.
“What the World Needs Now Is Love”
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No not just for some but for everyone.”
There is only one true source of true love, and that is God. The reason that the world does not know real love is because they do not know God.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.” I John 3:1
You can have amicable feelings, relationships; friends, mutual understandings and cooperation – but you cannot have real love without God.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8
The test of love is described in I Corinthians 13: 4-8
“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, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”
You may be thinking no one loves like that but you would be wrong – Jesus loves like that. Jesus loves me this I know. Jesus loves the little children of the world. Jesus wept over a nation. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light – Jesus is the perfect example of love. Through His deepest love, He provided eternal life for all who choose it.
You may be thinking that you cannot love like that; and you would be correct in and of yourself; but with God all things as possible. When you seek first the kingdom of God’s love, you will become more likely to have the love you are seeking in your personal relationships with others – you can experience the “real thing.”
With recent events in our history we have seen many examples of what love is not – love is not rioting, stealing, looting, and love is not beheading a human being, love is not killing innocent children, love is not wanting to be the first with the news for sensationalism. Love is not taking advantage of others.
Our motto should be: “Count no day lost in which you have waited your turn – took only you share – sought advantage over no one.”
Love is not making ugly finger gestures to perfect strangers, love is not breaking in line, love is not lying, love is not taking that which does not belong to you, love is not living off others, love is not being lazy, love is not being a bully, love is not unforgiveness, love is not always having to have your way, love is not creating havoc, love is not sex, love is not lack of commitment, love is not for sale, love is not ignoring the needs of others, love is not evil, love is not anger, love is not abusing your body, love is not abusing others, love is not just something to be desired; but expressed. If love is like any above, it is not the “real thing.”