Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” (New International Version, Romans 13:8) “What is Love? Is it an illusion? Why is it such a mystery? Is it evil? Why is it painful? Does it always hurt? Is love good? Is it safe? Is it avoidable? Is love worth it? Should we love? Should we allow ourselves to love? Is it beneficial? Is it safe? Is it able to be changed? Is love right? What is love?” I myself, along with probably everyone who has ever lived have most likely found themselves asking at least a few of those questions. Everyone has experienced, or is seeking to experience the sensational phenomenon known as love. Because love is not properly understood, it is misused. When love is misused, that is when people get hurt. When people get hurt, they get depressed and scared. A wrong image of love gets branded in their minds. Then they start to avoid love. They fear love, we despise love, we cringe at the very thought of love and its consequences. But that is only because we view love in a wrong way. We think love is a “what can I get” kind of thing, or a “what makes me feel good” kind of thing. Love is many things, and for love to work, we have to know everything that love is. The truth is that love is debt. It is both a luxury and a debt. God cleared us of all the debt we owe, except one. That is the debt to love.
The word love is mentioned in the Bible around 541 times. God would not have put it in there that many times if he was not trying to get something across to his people. Love is really a major concern of God. That is why it is so sad when people misunderstand it. Love has never been about what makes me feel good. It has always been about putting someone else above yourself. Jesus portrays the greatest example of this when he dies for us on the cross. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5.8) Imagine that, loving someone so much, that while they still despised you, you gave up your life for them because you cared. Jesus is the ultimate example of love. That is why we are to follow his example, and ask ourselves what he would if in our situations. We do that because Christ acted out of love. By following him, we can find out also the character traits that come along with loving.
Love is strength, love is eternal, love is joy, and love is God. God is everything good and therefore love is everything good. Love is undefeatable and unchangeable. Love is all we need because once again, God is love. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4.8) The people who shun love because of previous hurts do not realize it, but they are ultimately shunning God, and that is a very dangerous thing to do. Instead of embracing the wrong sense of love, they need to embrace the author of love. Only when they utilize God’s love, and operate through his perfection, can they truly love like God intended. Only God can truly fulfil our longing for love. It is a waste of time to go anywhere other than him. The first step to loving the right way is to trust God enough to give him all of our love and accepting that his love is sufficient.
God has been showing us his love since the very conception of the earth. He created the beautiful things for us to enjoy. Parents can brag about getting their children the coolest looking stuffed animals, and God can brag about giving us the real thing. God’s love for us is impenetrable. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 38-39) God shows us how he wants us to repay our debt of love. We are to do it with love that will not be shaken by doubt, fear, hate, or any other evil thing. If someone is to wrong us, we cannot let that change our love for them. God’s love for us is unshakeable and unchangeable. That is the way our love for others should be as well.
God limited the Bible to 66 books. He limited himself to write down only what was essential. Yet, God fit the word love in his written word over 541 times. God did not waste space. There is something to glean from each time he mentioned it. I think the reason God speaks about is so much is because God is love. God is talking about how he wants our relationship with him to be. And once we get our relationship with him right, our relationships with others will fall into order as well. As God daily reveals his love to us, we should come to realize daily how much the debt of love is growing. God wants us to love each other, he commands us to. A lot of times it is hard. It may never be east until we get to heaven. But it makes it less difficult when we prioritize the mutual love between us and God first.