In our Bible study this week the question came up, What is love, anyways? I'm not sure I gave that great of an answer, so I decided to do a little study on it. Is love a feeling? Is it just doing what's best for someone? Are we supposed to show "tough love" in some cases? Is love dealing harshly with someone who is not following the truth? In the New Testament we are told to love each other 28 times, so we better know what it really means.
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers.
Anyone who does not love remains in death.
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
This is how we know what love is:
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
1 John 3:14-16
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
So from these verses, love is sacrificial and unconditional. If the situation comes up where we feel like we need to confront someone or let them know the error of their ways, we better speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Speaking the truth in love means coming to someone with a kind, humble, and patient attitude, being willing to serve them and help them in any way we can, like Jesus did for us.