One thing I have often heard (and taught for that matter), is that love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. After all, how can you command a feeling? And yet God commands us to love.
As I think on this passage, though, I’m starting to rethink that idea.
After all, according to Paul, you can choose to give your life for Jesus, and still be lacking in love. You can give all you have to someone, and yet be lacking in love. (3)
Love is not just a feeling, but it’s not just a choice either.
If our actions don’t flow from our hearts, they’re not true expressions of love.
They may be obedience, I suppose, but not love.
Also, while you can of course choose to do kind acts, and choose to show patience, how about not being irritable? Or not holding bitter thoughts toward someone? (5)
Those things are very connected to our feelings.
So what am I saying?
In order to love as God does, we need a new heart.
And to have a new heart, we need to be connected to him.
As we abide in him, and his love starts to pour into our hearts, it changes us. And that gives us the ability to love those that are not so easy to love.
How about you? Are you abiding in Christ and in his love? Are you rooted in that love?