13 No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.
Love. Almost every song is written about it, the most iconic movies are centered on it, and numerous notorious scholars have tried to define it. “Did they drop the L Bomb yet?” is the question we hear from every rom-com, good friend, and nosey neighbor. It shows up everywhere and drives everything, and yet culture has diluted it down to heart-eye emojis and powerful feelings about tacos.
Don’t get me wrong. I love tacos, and if you don’t, I may question your sanity. But love cannot be condensed to grandiose gestures, hashtag relationship goals, and Crunch Wrap Supremes. Love is all-consuming, unshakable, and sacrificial. Dropping the L Bomb means we also drop every doubt, every fear, every insecurity, every self-seeking motive, every unreleased amount of bitterness, and every pain that has hindered us.
The other day, someone asked me to define love. The first and only thing that came to mind was God. 1 John 4:8 tells us that “God is love,” and Jesus is the embodiment of His love for us. When we understand the weight of the sacrifice God made for us by sending His only Son to die for our sins so that we may have eternal life, we only slightly begin to understand the real definition of love.
Love looks like sacrifice. Unsparingly sacrificial love is not summarized by “I’d take a bullet for you,” but it is a sacrifice in every facet of life. Sacrificial love abandons false motives, selfish desires, and unnerving fear. It forgives the greatest hurt, it is not swayed by emotion, and it does not falter under pressure or difficult seasons.
Our ultimate calling in life is to echo God’s love from heaven to earth. This type of love cannot be manufactured or mustered up by human strength. We will only reflect God’s love when we are filled with it, and it overflows out of us and on to others.
Today, let’s not settle for a culturally constructed definition of love. Let’s reclaim the real love that resides in us. Real love is unwavering despite opposition. Real love chooses others. Real love is willing to sacrifice. Real love is a conqueror. Real love has a name. That name is Jesus.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Reflect on the love God has poured out on you.
- How are you filling yourself with the love of God?
- In what ways can you reflect God’s love today?
Pray for Nashvillians from other cultures and belief systems during the holidays, and for spiritual awareness and willingness to connect and build relationships. You may have the opportunity to share the true Christmas story with someone who has never heard it.