What is Love?

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)

What is love? At first this may seem like a simple question with a simple response. At least that’s what I thought when I first heard it. The more I think about it, the more I realize the complexity of the question. Jesus says in Matthew 22:37-39 that the two greatest commandments are, “…‘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 foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” I find it interesting that the two greatest commandments center around love.

I recently heard the statement made that if humans were able to obey these two commandments perfectly, then we wouldn’t be fallen, there wouldn’t be a sin problem. My first inclination is that this statement is incorrect, but as I examined it further I found that it actually led to a lot of interesting ideas concerning the nature of love. In Galatians, love is listed as the first fruit of the spirit. The other fruits seem to be rooted in love. For example, if you are struggling to get along with a friend, as I know we all have experienced, the temptation may be to act rudely, thus sinfully toward them. Acting rudely would not be showing love. However, showing patience toward them and working through the issue with them is showing love. In other words, love is present when we are patient with one another.

Love is shown through obedience. Jesus says in John 14:23 that is we love Him then we will obey Him. Obedience comes as a result of our love toward God. “We love because He first loved us,” according to 1 John 4:19. The same is true for others that are in authority over us. If we love our parents, then our obedience toward them will prove that.

Love is also displayed in sacrifice and putting others wants and desires above our own. The greatest example of showing love through sacrifice is Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus sacrificed His life for us on account of His great love. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” A current example of sacrificial love comes from the senior class. As the first graduating class of Covenant Academy, there are many things the seniors chose to give up in order to pioneer the way to a flourishing high school, from which you and I will benefit.

In conclusion, I encourage each of you to remember that love comes from the Holy Spirit, thus when we are rooted in Christ, love is promised to pour from us.

As part of their training in Rhetoric, our students in grades ten and up are required to develop and present a brief presentation to the school body during Chapel with guidance from their instructors and school curriculum. Each student presentation must be understandable and relevant to all age groups. Sowing seeds of rhetoric training by requiring them speak to all age levels has yielded a harvest for all to enjoy.

This week’s presentation was given by Maddie, one of our tenth grade students (pictured above).