Faith & Insight: Love is hard to define, easy to observe
In July of 1959, the Playmates recorded “What Is Love?” The Association offered its answer in August of 1966 with “Cherish.” The Innocence was not buying it. Its frustration is evident in its December 1966 recording of “There’s Got to be a Word!”
Love is hard to define. In Biblical times, the Greeks recognized different types of love. “Phileo” was used to describe brotherly or friendly love. “Eros” was the term given to erotic or sensual love. “Agape” was reserved for the highest and purest of loves — Godlike love. Love isn’t God, but God is love, and agape is loving like God loves.
Love is hard to define. However, the Apostle Paul adds some clarity by describing in some detail what love is and what love isn’t.
He writes, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Love may be hard to define, but it’s easy to observe. In the heartwarming film, “Forrest Gump,” the lead character played by Tom Hanks declares to Jenny, the woman he loves, “I know what love is.”
I believe him. When one observes how Forrest treats friends and strangers, men and women, the elderly and the young, the black and the white, the rich and the poor, one can’t help but to love him and want to be more loving, too. Forrest may not have been able to define it, but he knew what it was, and he lived it.
We may not be able to fathom what it means when we hear the words, “God loves you.” We may not be able to express in words his great love. However, we look to the cross in amazement when we come to realize Calvary’s cross was for each of us.
Romans 5:8: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
There’s no greater love. May Christ’s example motivate us to be more loving. Let’s celebrate love this Valentine’s Day … and every day! Let’s live it, too. Let’s promote the best interests of others wholeheartedly.
Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.