Love, heavenly love, the love which Jesus commands us to love, is not an emotion.

Love GodFor many religious people the absence of a feeling of hate means they love. Or because their denominational or doctrinal teaching says to love, and since they are loyal to their group belief, they feel they love.

But love is not what a doctrine spells out, and belonging to the “right” group does not mean a person loves as Jesus commands.

We are, at least in modern western culture, enraptured by emotional love. That means anything that gives us warm feelings can be the object of love, so we love certain TV shows or movies. We love the building our assembly meets in. We love our country. We love that exotic flavoured ice cream.

Being-RightDuring worship people feel like talking in tongues and often do so contrary to the limits God placed on this through Paul in 1 Corinthians 14. Or people feel like laughing or dancing oblivious to what effect it has on the worship of God which others intend.

A sermon or column or teaching doesn’t feel nice to someone and so they trash the lesson or presenter without regard to whether the Bible was correctly taught. I remember my newspaper column being attacked, not because the facts were wrong, but because I “shouldn’t talk about that”.

But even more. 1 Corinthians 13, which has been trivialized into emotional oblivion, takes this behaviour even further. Even if you behave in ways that people would interpret as loving and spiritual, without divine compassionate kindness (love) saturating your entire being, that behaviour is nothing, wasted on ego-feeding feelings.

Consider each fragment of the description slowly:

love_one_another_“Love is patient.

Love is kind.

Love isn’t jealous.

It doesn’t sing its own praises.

It isn’t arrogant.

It isn’t rude.

It doesn’t think about itself.

It isn’t irritable.

It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.

It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth.”

(1 Corinthians 13:4-6 God’s Word©)

So, based on this list, do you do love?

“Dear children, we must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words” (1 John 3:18 God’s Word©).