Love Makes the World Go 'Round
Bible Reading: Philippians 2:1-4
Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Philippians 2:4
Love: The word slides into conversations almost unnoticed.
- “You love her. Admit it.”
- “I saw a great movie. You’ll love it.”
- “Yeah, I’d love a burger slathered with onions.”
- “I love the acceleration and handling of this car!”
- “My kitten is so cute. I just love him.”
The word love has a multitude of different meanings. So when we talk about love these days, it’s important to know exactly what kind of love people mean. For example, if a guy can’t spot the difference between loving his dog, loving his favorite baseball glove, and loving his girlfriend, he’s in deep trouble-with his girlfriend, not the dog. And a girl had better know that her love for her prom dress and for her parents are two totally different things.
The apostle Paul dedicated a whole chapter to the topic of love. What he wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 describes what love does and doesn’t do. And from this description and other examples in the Bible, we can come up with a concise statement defining what love is: Love wills and works for the good of the one loved. Love is making the health, happiness, and growth of another person as important to you as your own.
Is your well-being important to you? Of course! We all work hard at staying happy, safe, secure, and prosperous. Anyone with even a few ounces of ambition wants to grow as a Christian, do well in school, and have fun with friends.
It’s part of everyone’s makeup as a human being not only to survive but to flourish in every possible way. But true love demands that we want others to succeed as badly as we want to do it ourselves. That was Paul’s instruction in Philippians 2:4: “Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” He also wrote, “Love does no wrong to anyone” (Romans 13:10). Instead of doing harm, we are to do what is good and right to others. Love simply says, “Treat others right, the way you want to be treated.” It all goes back to the Golden Rule given to us by Jesus (see Matthew 7:12).
That’s what real love is like—even if it isn’t the kind of love you usually hear about in the halls at school.
REFLECT: There is a lot of “I want what I want when I want it” in what people call "love" today. How do you see this false kind of love in the world around you?
PRAY: Ask God to flood you with his kind of love—because that’s the only kind that will bring fulfillment to you and to those you love.