God is love. This is something that I have been told my entire life.
growing up in church, attending a Christian University…having a bad day? Don’t worry, God is love. Your boyfriend broke up with you? Don’t worry, God is love. Your parents are getting a divorce? Don’t worry, God is love. Your friends are talking about you behind your back? Don’t worry God is love.
Ask any Christian and they will tell you that this is a basic truth to the Christian faith, but recently, this truth was challenged to me.
“God is love…great. Now, what does that actually mean?”
I was baffled. What do you mean, “what does that actually mean”? It means God is love. That’s it. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the truth that I had grown up ‘knowing’, I actually didn’t know at all.
Yes, it sounds great and yes, it feels really good to say, but I had no idea what it truly meant to say that God is love.
Then, when I had no answer, the question was proposed,
“Well, what is love?”
Many, including the dictionary, would describe love as a feeling; a deep affection towards someone or something.
But God is not a feeling, He can’t be just a feeling…
So there we are left with the same exact unanswered question,
“What is love?”
I left that conversation confused and honestly a little doubtful about everything that I had ever grown up “knowing”. As I began to ponder every single sermon or conversation that I had ever heard about love, I remembered this passage in the Bible:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends.
So if God is love, and love is perfectly defined as all of these things, then that must mean that God is patient when no one else is willing to wait on us.
God is kind when the rest of the world kicks us to the curb.
God is perfectly content with who we are and will never ask for something that we are not willing to offer, when the world is constantly encouraging us to change.
God will always treat you with respect when the world shows you the countless measures of abuse you can give yourself.
God is selfless and will always let you choose.
God does not hold grudges when the world wants to remind you of everything you are doing wrong.
God will always be honest with you when everything around you is filled with deceit.
God will take on your heavy burdens, believe in your dreams, provide a hope for your future, and will be your shoulder where you have nothing or no one to lean on.
God is never ending.
So, ask me again what it means to say that God is love. Because I would tell you that it means that God is exactly what we need at the exact moment we need it in. And if that’s what it means to be loved, then let us never escape.