One of the passages I love that deals with “love,” is 1 John 3:16 (it is easy to remember because of John 3:16), in that it actually defines what love does – how it functions – how to do it, not just how it feels – that to do acts of love is to choose to sacrificially put someone else’s well-being else before ourselves, which is plainly seen in such passages as 1 John 3:16, which states:
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
This verse teaches us that the proof of God’s love is that He sacrificially put us first, which is also what He wants us to do for others, especially with other Christians (Galatians 6:10), as seen here. This type of sacrificial giving is also seen in the one verse that the whole world knows, John 3:16, which states:
“for God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son“
The first thing we should notice is that one of the verbs (there are five verbs in this verse – it should be obvious that Greek grammar is unlike English concerning sentence structure) in this verse is “gave” (it should also be noteworthy that the word for “world” is the Greek word: kosmos, which is a metonym [a metonym is a word which is a substitution of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself, such as “world” in place of the socialist system of man] ~ The point is that man and his social system, which were corrupted and had no value in themselves that were worthy of God’s love, because Rom. 5:10 states that at this time, “when we were enemies” of God, we did not deserve His love), which is the act that God did for the world, and the thing He gave, His Son – who is far beyond the value of what He was traded for; the greater given for the lesser – sacrificially.
This is the act of love, which is separate from the emotion of feeling love in response to what somebody has done, or who they are (a perceived value). We are not to be led by our emotions, we are to be led by the actions we choose with our minds, then come emotions (as icing on the cake), and then and only then, should we enjoy the feeling of the response of emotions which gives life its zeal. The feeling of the emotional response of love is a natural aftermath of having placed something before us, having committed to it before ourselves wherein we are invested in it and therefore experience the emotional response of love for the thing that we have placed before ourselves, and sacrificed for; hence the expression, “the object of our affection,” in reference to the thing that we love. It is this that explains the never ending love of a mother, even for a murderous son, which we cavalierly refer to as nurturing love.
It is the height of arrogance and pride to think there was anything in us that was worthy of God’s love, or in consideration of the value of the Son in contrast. God chose to love us first, which created in us a value only because of the prize that He traded in exchange; the most precious thing in God’s realm, His Son.
It is in understanding God’s kind of love is so far beyond our human love, wherein this awareness should always bring down to our knees, and back at the foot of the cross.
“The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’ is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”