5 Questions About Love

In regard to how we should honor the Ten Commandments today, Romans 13:10 says quite a lot. Paul writes, “Love is the fulfillment of the Law.”

Love is the “most excellent way,” he writes elsewhere (1 Corinthians 12:31). The presence or absence of love determines whether any other spiritual gift from God is worthwhile. But what is love, and how are we to understand it?

A journalist seeking a thorough understanding of a topic asks a certain series of questions: who, what, when, where, how. Here are those questions applied to love:

1. WHO is love?

Answer: 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” And by the principle of equivalence, love is God. When we choose to act out of love, we choose for God to advance within that part of creation we have touched.

2. WHAT is love?

Answer: Not gushy feelings! Two different Greek words in the original scripture get translated into our broad English word, “love.” We usually associate love with the people or things we personally relish and feel happy about. In a Greek dictionary I have, this variety of love is entry #5368. (The number is easier than the Greek characters.) Yet when Jesus said to love other people, the word he used was entry #25. This variety of love has nothing to do with how you feel. It has to do with regarding a person as being inherently worthy.

3. WHEN to love?

Answer: Now more than ever. As time advances, said Jesus, “the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12).

4. WHERE is love?

Answer: Inside you. Jesus prayed that the love the Father had for him would also be in you (John 17:26). Accepting this is the starting point. The love that is God within you then flows out.

5. HOW to love?

Answer: In action. 1 John 3:18, “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” Don’t be content with just advocating love. The words become a lie if we don’t personally put them into effect.