We often think of love as a feeling, but if we look at Scripture we see love is a choice. Let’s get a definition of love from the HelpFinder Bible and then read what the Bible has to say about loving even when we don’t feel like.
A healthy definition of love is crucial to understanding the central message of the Bible. According to the Bible, love is not confined to sexuality, and it isn’t primarily a feeling either. The Bible teaches that love is a commitment. As a commitment, love is not dependent on good feelings but rather on a consistent and courageous decision to extend oneself for the well-being of another. That commitment then produces good feelings, not the other way around. Jesus became the perfect demonstration of God’s unconditional love for us by laying down his life for our benefit.
Must I love other people? What if I don’t want to?
• JOHN 13:34 | “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”
• 1 JOHN 2:9 | If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness.
• JOHN 13:35 | “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
• 1 PETER 4:8 | Love covers a multitude of sins.
• 1 JOHN 4:12 | If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
Being a Christian comes with certain expectations, and one of them is that we will love others. Our Christian conduct is proof as to whether we love each other, and loving each other is proof that we belong to Christ.
How can I love people I don’t even like?
• 1 JOHN 4:19 | We love each other because he loved us first.
As you reflect on God’s love for you and receive it for yourself, you will grow in your ability to love those you do not like.
• 1 PETER 4:8 | Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
Love is an act of spiritual maturity, based on the eternal significance of each person and on what God is doing in your life. When you learn to love the unlovable, you have developed the ability to see others as Jesus does.
• ROMANS 12:20 | “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.”
Even if you don’t like certain people, you can still choose to do tangible acts of love for them.
• ROMANS 12:3 | I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.
Before you are too quick to dislike or dismiss someone, remember that you, too, have qualities that others may find unattractive.
• MATTHEW 5:43-44 | “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”
Only in Christ’s love can we love our enemies.