Happy Valentine’s Day! A day full of love. Right?
I thought about love for a moment. The things I love. And how I use the word “love”. As I pondered for a moment, I find that I use (misuse) the word “love” way too often. Not to sidestep responsibility, but I am not the only one guilty of this. I hear it misused everywhere I go and with many people I interact with daily.
In the New Testament we find two different Greek words translated into the English term for love. Agape and Phileo. In fact, the ancient Greek language itself had at least four different words for different forms of love. Agape. Phileo. Eros. Storge. In the Old Testament Hebrew we find even more. This was, and is, helpful. The different terms can describe different targets, expressions, and values of “love” and those being “loved”.
The English language just does not suffice when it comes to this all important word. How sill it is for me to say: “I love cheesesteaks!” or “I love football!”, then to turn around and tell my family that I love them, or pronounce that I love Christ Jesus.
Is my love for cheesesteak equivalent to Christ?
We must be careful how to use our language, especially words with such great meaning. It has become all too easy for us to use the word “love” without thinking about the power and meaning behind it. The term has become undervalued and overused; stretched and strained out of proportion.
I have even heard some teens begin to say it to each other after just a few weeks of dating, only to break up in the weeks/months following. (Which is a whole other discussion in itself) Maybe it’s time that we take a moment to think about what it means to truly love before we openly declare it.
It’s time we put the value back in the word that we use. And do so before the words themselves lose all meaning. But how?
16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18 ESV)
Maybe the word no longer carries the value that it should, but we should at least attempt to let our actions carry the significance.
Let your love (actions) speak louder than the love (words) you speak.