ATP: How Do I Know I'm Really In Love?
Watch TV. Listen to the radio. Read the latest novel on the "top ten" list. Peruse the content of the movies listed on the entertainment page of the newspaper. Observe the lives of most involved in the Hollywood scene. Now define love. Difficult? Confusing? Disappointing? As they say in Montana, "You betcha!" However, look at God's definition of love and you'll be encouraged and inspired to love. In fact, there is not another thing like it in heaven or earth, for real and true love is what God is.
It is true that there are different levels or ways in which a person can love. There is the love of romance, the love of friendship and the love of God. Regardless of how a person directs their love, basically, one can put love into three categories: If, Because or Period.
"If" is conditional. It rises or sinks on how one responds to another's wants. The central figure in "if love" is "me" or "ego." In actuality, "if love" is nothing but lust. However, the man/woman who loves conditionally tragically does not know that his/her love will fail to endure and is not true. A great illustration of this kind of love is seen in the Bible character Delilah. She told Samson, "If you really loved me you would tell me the secret of your strength." What was the aftermath of this "if love"? The death of both Samson and Delilah.
The second way in which a person loves is "because." Here one loves because of certain qualities the other person possesses. This is where most relationships begin. A person has a good personality, a good figure or physique, a great sense of humor, "makes me feel good," brings financial security, is in a position of fame or power, and the list goes on. Some of the mentioned are healthy, some are not – but they are all reasons why someone may love another. The liability in this kind of love is that someone may come along with more of the "because." What happens next? Like movie director John Derek, does one trade the "first because" (Ursula Andress) for the "second because" (Linda Evans), then the "second because" for the "third because" (Bo Derek)?
God calls us to love as He loves – "period." Unconditionally! Here is God's definition:
 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 hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails... And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13 (selected)
Yes, these three do remain – faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is "love – period."
For further reading on this topic pick up the third book in my Hijacked Life series, Love, Lust & Lies.
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