You can be the giver and recipient of the most highly sought-after power source of all time when you find the answer to the age-old question, “What is true love?”
READING TIME: 4 MINUTES
There’s a lot of talk about love this time of year, as Valentine’s Day approaches. Kids pack up small notes and candies to share with classmates, couples go out to fancy dinners, and men rush to buy roses for their special someone.
Love is something we all want DEEPLY, and the pursuit of it can often take us down the wrong road or leave us feeling empty inside. So, how can we know for sure what true love is?
1. How True Love Feels
The emotions we often call love can come and go quickly, but TRUE LOVE (the kind that lasts a lifetime) must be developed and cultivated. True love is far more than a feeling—it’s a choice—which is good, because sometimes people you love can make you feel like this:
Sure, you can feel warm, fuzzy feelings when you’re around someone, but when those feelings fade or the other person isn’t quite what you hoped they’d be, that’s when true love—the choice—kicks in. In John 13:34, Jesus commanded us to “love each other.” He wasn’t commanding us to have a feeling. He was commanding us to make the right CHOICE.
True love considers the needs of another before themselves. That’s an outright insult to the flesh, and that’s why true love takes work! Just think of how sacrificial God’s love is toward us.
Agape love—the God kind of love—is the most powerful love on earth. And it is UNCONDITIONAL. It has nothing to do with how someone treats you. It has to do with the love coming out of you. As a receiver of God’s agape love, you can be a giver of agape love.
In other words, when you’re willing to meet the needs of another, even when they aren’t meeting yours—by George, you’ve got it!
Feelings are fickle. Make a DECISION to love. Then you’ll know it’s true.
2. How True Love Acts
Most often, when people think of love, they think of hugging, kissing and holding hands. But love goes far beyond acts of physical affection. And true love isn’t exclusive to an intimate relationship between a man and a woman—love is central to parenting, friendships, extended family (yes, it’s true) and ministry.
Aside from physical affection, some people think true love acts just how you want them to all the time. Not so! True love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, which tells us how true love acts:
- It forgives
- It sees the best in people
- It has patience
- It is kind to others
- It is not rude or inconsiderate
- It doesn’t tell people what they want to hear; it tells them what they need to hear
- It isn’t quick to get angry or offended
- It is not touchy, fretful or resentful
- It obeys God
Now, if someone slips in one of these areas now and again, it doesn’t mean they don’t genuinely love you—it means they are imperfect people who need forgiveness. But true love (developed through a relationship with Christ) will work to behave in these ways toward others.
On the other hand, if you’ve been going down this list checking it against someone in your life and thinking, Mm-hmm. I knew it, you’ve missed the point. If you are a giver of true love, you won’t think of how others should treat you, but instead, you’ll focus on how well you can love others. Of course, this is not to say that you should allow someone to treat you any way they like. It is important to have boundaries in any relationship—romantic or not—and an abusive relationship is not one you should tolerate.
3. How True Love Looks
In spite of many cartoon portrayals, true love doesn’t have hearts dancing over its recipient, and it doesn’t send people floating on clouds. That’s the trouble with society today—it’s looking for a Goodyear Blimp flying overhead as a sign of true love. That’s not how true love looks.
True love is lasting, persevering. It isn’t intense feelings all the time, but consistent devotion and dedication. It NEVER FAILS.
Of how love looks, Kenneth Copeland says, “You don’t just turn on and off the look of love. You have to practice love. And you don’t wait until somebody is ugly to you before you practice the love of God. You practice the love of God by first loving Him, and then when somebody does do something less than sweet to you, you’ll already be loving God, so loving them is just an offshoot.”
4. How True Love Shows Power
If you’ve been looking for one perfect, true love in your life, there’s only one place to find it—in Christ Jesus.
Even though you can never be perfect, He will always love YOU perfectly. If you ever want to know what true love feels like, acts like and looks like—look to the Cross. The love of God is full of life-changing power.
Just look at how true love shows power:
- True love created you (1 John 4:8)
- True love saved you (John 3:16)
- True love healed you (Isaiah 53:5)
- True love rescues you (Psalm 34:7)
- True love set you free (Galatians 5:1)
- True love made you righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- True love fuels mountain-moving faith (Galatians 5:6)
- True love never leaves you (Hebrews 13:5)
- True love cancels out all fear (1 John 4:18)
- True love makes everything else matter (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
You see, there is only one true love. If you’re a believer in Jesus, you already have it. God doesn’t have love; He is Love! No other love on earth can compete with the love He has for you.
The earth can’t take it and steal it away. Mean people can’t overcome it. True love works because it is powerful, and it never fails. It is so powerful that it can love regardless of whether it is loved back.
That’s powerful love.
Agape—unconditional love—is powerful. It makes you the master of every situation. When you’re walking in it, no weapon formed against you will prosper. No one even has the ability to hurt your feelings because you are not ruled by emotions but by God’s love. You are loving as He loves. That’s manifest power right there!
Gloria Copeland says, “This love is revolutionary. If we fully understood the power of living God’s love, we’d always see success.”
Now that you know what true love really is, you can tap into this ultimate power in 2020 and see God manifest His power through you when you walk in it more and more. If you’ve always wanted to be a recipient of true love, begin by being a giver first. You’ll be amazed at what comes back to you.
Watch Kenneth Copeland teach you how love changes everything.