What is Love?

What is love? Is it a feeling? Words? Actions? Does it vary from person to person or is there a universal definition of how to love? These are some things that are love to me, this list is by no means exhaustive.

Spending hours on FaceTime in the midst of the largest civil rights movement in the world because you know they’re not okay,

Knowing their coffee order when it changes every other week,

Getting out of bed because you were called at 11 PM at night because their car battery died,

Getting their oil changed for them because you know they won’t have time to do it themselves,

Hugging them when you know they need it (pre-COVID times y'all),

Reminding them who they are to you when their insecurities flare up,

Being there when there’s nothing you can do to change their situation,

Finding that one thing in the store on a weekend trip that reminds you of them and bringing it back for them.

“Jesus talked to His friends a lot about how we should identify ourselves. He said it wouldn’t be what we said we believed or all the good we hoped to do someday. Nope, He said we would identify ourselves simply by how we loved people. It’s tempting to think there is more to it, but there’s not. Love isn’t something we fall into; love is someone we become.” - Bob Goff, Everybody Always

Everybody Always was by far my favorite read of 2020. It challenged me. It spoke truth into my perceptions. It gave me hope which I think is something we all could use a little more of. The title itself I would say describes love immeasurably more than we could ever understand. It is choosing everybody ALWAYS.

Now, I don’t want you to read this as an unhealthy surrendering of yourself and your boundaries to try to love a person. I’m not talking about having no boundaries and loving from an empty tank, far from it. This kind of love could not come from ourselves. It comes from the source of all of our love. It comes from the depth of who God is. Love starts, ends, and is God.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, and He was the perfect embodiment of what love looks like. Jesus stopped for the one that was on the fringe of society. Jesus spoke identity when the world spoke judgement. Jesus spoke grace when the religious leaders spoke condemnation. Jesus ushered in freedom while the society at the time tried to keep people in bondage.

Jesus marks us with his love and we are to be love in return. If you talk to any random person on the street and ask what the church is known for, it isn’t love.  Now, this is not an indictment on any singular church but a mandate to all believers to live out of the love that has been freely given to us. We are to be love.

“And Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22: 37-40).”’There is a lot of doctrine and theology that the Christian church has plenty of material to debate over but love is not one of them. Jesus is the fulfillment of all of the Old Testament prophecies, histories, and records, so when he says these are the two most important commandments, you better believe we need to listen. Love means giving your best to the person in front of them. Years from now, people may not remember your actions or words, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Author  |  Cristina Rosiles
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