Many think they know the word “love’, yet the vast majority know very little about it. As a Christian, we should know it well. A checklist on love from a faith perspective is necessary as Love is the greater among Faith, Hope and Love. 1 Corinthians 1:13 says And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. So here is a checklist to assess our understanding of love as a Christian.
Checklist about God’s Love
Go through these statements and find out for yourself if you have an understanding about God’s love as a Christian.
- Does God love me much (i.e. mankind including me)?
- Am I aware that God went to the extent of sacrificing his only son for me?
- Does my life (words, thoughts and actions) express my understanding of God’s great love towards me?
- Am I grateful to God with every cell of my being? Am I grateful every day to Him?
- Am I a forgetful person, who forgets God’s great love?
- Am I living an indifferent life towards God?
- Do you think loving God is mandatory or optional for a Christian?
- Why is God’s love in sacrificing Jesus Christ called the greatest love?
As a Christian we ought to know with all certainty about God’s love. We should not be having an iota of doubt on this. The love which God has towards us is breathtaking and greater than every other love we have ever received. Hence, being certain and knowing the scriptural background is most important. Here are the verses which provide a good understanding about God’s love for us.
- John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
- 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
- Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
- Matthew 22:36-38 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.
- John 15:13-14 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
Checklist on Love – advanced
Is loving people around us as important or more important than loving God. Which has precedence.
Is giving charity more important than expressing and showing love?
If a person sells all his possessions to give to charity – is not that a greater expression than love?
Is prophecy important or love more important?
How does love relate to forgiveness and transgressions?
If you have performed well in the earlier checklist, congratulations. Let us see how you fare for the advanced checklist on understanding about love for a Christian.
Loving God is the most important thing. It’s because of this Loving God is the greatest commandment. Only after this in 2nd priority is loving others, loving neighbours.This is the way Jesus handled this when he was asked about this. Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Love is a far superior virtue far greater than charity. This is clearly pointed out in the love chapter 1 Corinthians 13. The 3rd verse, i.e.1 Corinthians 13:3 says. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love is superior to prophesy and faith as well. This may be difficult to understand, yet since the Bible says so, it’s important to base my understanding on what the Bible says. I know later even as I ask the Lord he will make matters clear. I do not want my understanding to limit me from what I know is true.
The specific positioning of love can be read in 1 Corinthians 13:2
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Love tolerates wrongdoing, willing to suffer, is patient. Love is not provoked by whatever words or actions others poke you with. Often I have not acted and behaved as if I knew this. But being intentional about this, I have been able to improve the way I respond to others.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-5 says this. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
As Christians, we are asked to express sincere and fervent love for others. We have this verse from 1 Peter 4:8, which says Loving one another is important. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
As I write these series on checklist for Christians, I find myself learning. Hope you too are blessed. Knowing about the most important aspects of Christian life – aspects which affect our life in eternity. Knowing truths helps in making the right choices and our paths straight.