The New Oxford American Dictionary defines love as “a. Like very much. b. A great interest or pleasure in something”. However, the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “Unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of others”. Those definitions are pretty different and the reason is, the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary is “old fashioned” and the New Oxford is, well… New.
The word ‘love’ is overused and under appreciated. Over the centuries, love has changed and become a word we use instead of words such as; enjoy, fond of, adore, savor, appreciate, and like. Let’s be honest. Both you and I are guilty of it. We LOVE ice cream, we LOVE puppies, and chocolate, and explosions, and movies, food, games. The list just goes on and on. But maybe we need to take a moment to realize the true meaning of love. Well, it tells us in 1st. Corinthians 13, verses 4-7 that “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Now let’s be painfully honest and admit, we can’t even love people in the true sense of the word. How many times have we wished we had Laura’s hair, Sam’s cool new toolbox, or wished that we could go to Disney with Grandma and Grandpa instead of Jim?
Now I’m kind of going off track, but what I mean to say is, that by saying we love (for example) ice cream, how much does that lower, in our thoughts, the love God has for us? God’s love is everything stated in the verses above. Yet if we “love” ice cream, slowly we will, and are, bringing God’s love down to what our sinful minds have made the meaning. Something WE like, or WE find tasteful, or something WE have an interest in. Because it all comes back to US, and what WE want. True love is the opposite. True love is selfless, gives and looks to the needs of others.
So let’s try our best at truly loving, and put others first… And let’s try to leave off “I love” in front of objects or things.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.