{PART ONE in a series on LIVING LOVE}



That is the Kingdom’s greatest commandment.

Love God. Love your neighbor.



This is the culture’s commandment.

Do this. Do that. Hurry, hurry, git er done, then race on to the next thing. Or, better yet, keep doing the first five things while adding on another bunch of doings to the obligation schedule to do simultaneously. (And whoever dies from the most multi-tasking wins!)


Are the two the same in the Kingdom?

Is loving doing?

Better question: is doing loving?

Of course Love does indeed manifest itself in deeds of certain kinds. Yet, you can do lots of really “nice things,” even very demanding nice things, sometimes the most “sacrificial” nice things, without love! (And they’ll count for nothing!)

It isn’t the action alone that makes it love. It isn’t even sacrifice. It’s more the motive behind all that activity and sacrifice, and the power energizing it.

Look at 1 Corinthians 13.

I mean really look. Carefully. See what it truly says instead of all you might have heard human tongues and pens telling you it says. It might shock you, even if you memorized the whole chapter once upon a time…

I’ve heard commentary on it saying love is action, period. But two big concepts in this passage oppose that idea, or at least temper it.

1)  Right from the beginning it speaks of love rather as something we have or do not have, and of how vital a possession it is, in Kingdom values, even compared to things we might rate top gifts:

Even if my doings include…

speaking with outstanding oratory skill and vast language command, even with the gift of speaking angels’ tongues,

knowing all prophecy, wisdom, and knowledge,

moving mountains with my powerful faith,

giving away all my belongings,

even sacrificing my body to be burned (as most texts say),

 …all this doing is—NOTHING! (it says) IF I DO NOT. HAVE. LOVE.

2) When it does mention actions, it identifies love with more not-doings than doings:



boast, or parade itself,

be/get/act puffed up,

behave disgracefully, or rudely,

seek its own thing (as in “This is my thing. I wanna do my thing”),

rejoice in (get enjoyment out of) iniquity/unrighteousness,

get provoked to anger,

reckon (plan, think up) evil…

And, well, there’s one more thing that it does NOT DO. It doesn’t fail.

(Yeeks! I fail. Lots! And with lots of the above. What do I do with that fact?)

And where this gem of a passage finally does list verbs, notice how little visible action they exhibit: It…

suffers long,

rejoices in the truth,

bears all,

believes all,

hopes all,

endures all.

All these “actions” can be quite invisible to onlookers.


Summed up: you gotta have love! Or nothing else counts!


Alas! I know this, honestly: Generally speaking, I’m love-poor. Sometimes love-destitute! In and of myself.

Besides that, in my experience, I can have love (or seem to) and run out of it in the exhausting effort of duty doing—or in a moment’s blindsiding. What about that?

Either my duty-doing never did have love in the first place, or Love is like fuel, something we need to keep getting replenished.

How about you? By 1 Corinthians’ standards, do you typically, enduringly have this kind of love? In all situations?


So where does one get love?

And how does one obtain it, and keep it within, or get resupplied?


It’s taken so many years, but God has been showing me some things…

I’ll share some of them…

In upcoming posts.

6 thoughts on “Got Love? (Really?)

  1. Really look. That need to revisit, reevaluate, replenish and restore. Looking forward to those future posts, my friend.

    1. I feel a little timid and humble about writing them, Laurie. I seem to be such a slow learner, and quite a stumbling one. But God is a great and patient teacher, and He has such great lessons to teach us…
      Thanks for encouragement, dear friend.

  2. This is my topic for the upcoming capture the flag at Steve’s house. So you can be in prayer for me. I am not looking at love in the sense of our love but Gods Love for us. Using this and other passages. The cool thing i am seeing now that i have not thought about is How God is all that in the passage. And how we can never really measure up to that perfect standard of Love. Like the standard of the Law. We all fall short. But how awesome his Love is for us!

    1. That is such a good topic, Jason! A lot of those kids may be so hungry for that kind of love. I *will* be praying. Hope I can be there. Not sure about that though. So much going on all at once on that weekend. Seems like everyone’s trying to squeeze the last-minute summer events into it.

      What you’ll be saying meshes so much with what I’ve been seeing: that we don’t have that kind of love in ourselves. That only God does. And so, if we’re going to have any real love with which to operate we need to hang out close to Him, draw it from His deep well… But, well, here I’m writing the next post all over again in the comment box. Might as well go ahead and publish it! God’s best blessings on your talk and all who hear it.

  3. These are some great thoughts, Sylvia! I really enjoyed your look at the difference between loving and doing – and then how the two are supposed to work together. Thank you for sharing, friend!

  4. Thanks for your encouragement, Mary. A lot of things have been making me think more deeply and thoroughly about this topic and what scripture really says about it. Still on it, probably with more related posts to come.

Comments are now closed.