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Definition of love

In the Bible, the most common word translated as ‘love,’ in the Hebrew and the Greek, has at its root meaning the concept of ‘giving’. True biblical love is not an emotional feeling, but rather a willful act of ‘giving.’ When you stop to think about it, it makes perfect sense. Emotional love comes and goes, but a real lasting love is based on voluntarily ‘giving’ of our time, energy, money, devotion, affections, etc, to God and others.

In each of the Ten Commandments, God tells us to ‘give’ and not ‘take;’ we are to give God worship, praise, respect, time, give parents honor, and not take life, other’s affections, material possession, or the truth to pervert justice. When we refuse to give what is due God, or we take what belongs to others we violate God’s commandments. We are to practice a ‘giving’ love, thereby obeying God’s commands to love and emulating His Character, “God so loved the world that He gave…” The opposite of love is not hate, it is selfishness.

Jesus came to demonstrate that kind of love – and to teach us to live by it. When we practice this ‘giving’ love we will see transformed marriages, communities, nations and the world. Jesus came and demonstrated the key to peace, happiness and contentment –by having the attitude of a ‘giving’ servant.

We are called to be givers, not just during the Christmas season, but all year long. Give God worship, praise and honor, and give to meet the needs of others, especially the poor and needy. In the parable of the ‘Sheep and the Goats’ Jesus tells us that God will judge our faith by our giving – for Biblical love is ‘giving’ – and that ‘giving’ love fulfills the moral requirements of God’s law. (Matthew 22:27-40, Romans 13:10).

Don Werner