What is Love?

What is Love?

Jan 22, 2016

By Willy Villalpando

Maranatha Community Church, Colton, CA

Oh joy! It’s that time of year again! It’s the time of year when you ask that individual you’ve been obsessing over if they might get coffee with you some time. It’s the time of year when you surprise that special someone with flowers and chocolates to

remind them how much you love them. It’s the time of year where single people everywhere come together in opposition of the ideas of emotional attachment and affection. That’s right! It’s the season of love!

But what is love? If we look in a dictionary, love is usually defined as “a profoundly

tender affection for another person.” When I read this definition, it seems almost underwhelming. While we grow up we are taught that love is powerful — that love creates an inseparable bond between two people (be it husband and wife, familial love, or love between two friends). We are taught that love is an intense emotion used to demonstrate our intense care for and desire to see them, the person we love, happy. I can promise, as someone who always tells my family and closest friends goodbye by reminding them that I love them, that every time I say this, I say it because I passionately care about that person. Now, as an English major, I like to experiment with words and their connotations. So, in my interpretation, the phrase “profoundly tender affection” doesn’t seem right. This phrase almost seems to make love seem small and without power. The word “affection” makes it feel like merely an emotion, as opposed to an incredibly powerful force and way of being (and way of interacting with people). Even if you don’t necessarily agree with my conclusion that the secular definition of love is underwhelming, I think you’ll agree that the Biblical definition of love truly demonstrates the power that love has.

Love cartoon explosion. Pop art style.

First, I believe we can all agree that God is all powerful, and the following two verses confirm that. Romans 1:20a (ESV) says, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived…” and Job 37:23a (ESV) says, “The Almighty — we cannot find him; he is great in power…” I also want us to look at another verse. 1 John 4:8 (ESV) says, “Anyone who does not know love does not know God, because God is love.” I know what you’re thinking, “Okay Willy!

We know God is powerful and that God is love! So what?” Well, I want you to think back to your elementary school math classes: you might have heard of something called the transitive property. Don’t remember what that is? Let me jog your memory. The transitive property is the idea if A=B and B=C then A must equal C. So let’s replace these variables with something more relevant to our discussion. If God is all powerful and God is love, then the transitive property tells us that love is

all powerful. Love is power and I definitely think that defining love as all powerful is a much more fitting definition.

So, use that power! During this season of love (and throughout all of the seasons), don’t fret too much about asking that individual you’ve been watching from afar on a date; don’t panic because this will be yet another year that you don’t have a valentine. Use the power that God granted you to spread love to everyone, and use that power of love to bring others to the kingdom.

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