What is Love?

February 14, 2018



"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand it's own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices about whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Do you truly love as the Bible commands us to love? I know I don't. I'm sure at one point or another, we've heard this verse. We agree with it, see what we do wrong, and maybe we try to change it for a while before falling back into our old habits.

I'm not assigning blame because I'm the one guilty. In fact, I feel as though I'm lecturing myself on my weaknesses. While I may not be jealous or rejoice in injustice, I often find myself irritable, impatient, unkind, and I often keep a record of wrongs.

Why? Why do I do this?

Because it's easy.

God never said this life would be easy. He said to fight the good fight, to keep faith in Him, which happens to be another thing I struggle with daily.

So why am I telling you all of this?

I think we all can get caught up in other people's lives on the internet, thinking the person behind the screen is amazing. Their posts are not only meaningful but aesthetic, too. They have heart, they try to relate, they reply to comments- they do all this, and we think they're this awesome person.

Okay, so most likely, the person behind a blog is an awesome person. But they struggle. They have their ups and their downs. They have good days and they have terrible days.

I know I have terrible days.

Ivie is positive. She encourages people and tries to spread light to others. People have told me I seem so positive and kind. That I seem happy.

The real me isn't always as positive. Sometimes when I'm typing something encouraging comments, I'm not feeling happy. Not that I don't want to encourage someone or feel happy for them, but I'm forcing that positivity because that's just what you do online.

Does that mean I don't try to encourage others in my offline life? No, I still want to spread light and joy, but I find myself having a harder time holding onto faith when every moment there's something going on in the world.

Government isn't fulfilling promises, shootings are all too common, sin is running wild, and bad has become accepted while good has become rejected. It's hard to remain positive in a world like this.

This brings me all the way back to what I said near the beginning. God never said this would be easy. He said the exact opposite. But what He did say is it would be worth it.

Jesus gave the ultimate act of love by dying for us. Yet we can't simply take a moment to not be irritable.

Like I said, I'm speaking to myself. I don't know what your personal struggles are in your day to day life, nor should I. It isn't my business unless you decide to share.

Back to the title of this post... what is love?

God is love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is the instruction to love as fully as we can.
I've failed at this and want to strive to do better.

Small Update

The character development series will continue next Wednesday with the next topic: Protagonists. I'm also trying to catch up on tags so I will be starting back up my Saturday postings. This isn't permanent at the moment, but I know some of y'all have said you missed my Saturday posts. I kind of missed them, too, so it's nice to have a few here and there. 

What is your definition of love?
How are you celebrating this Valentines Day?
I know some people don't like this day, but I do for many reasons.
As always, God bless y'all
With love,





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36 comments

  1. This is really good and convicting! I find myself not loving as I should frequently, but I want to love selflessly. This was really encouraging to me this morning. Thank you so much for this post, it was a blessing to read!
    BTW I am excited to see your Saturday posts hopefully returning!!
    astoryspinner.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! I honestly was a little nervous being this vulnerable, but God put this message on my heart and I couldn't ignore it. I'm so glad you found it to be a blessing. This was really me lecturing myself on loving people better.

      Thank you! I'll be getting a job soon, so I don't know if I can keep it up, but they will be back for the forseeable future. :D

      Happy Valentines Day! <3

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  2. Ugh, you are so correct! How easy it is to hide behind our social media status? I've had people tell me I'm loyal.. but what of those times I know I wasn't? I've had people tell me my words are encouraging... but what of those times I used words to hurt someone? I've had people tell me I'm smart... but so many times I've chosen to be a stupid idiot.

    Life is hard, and sometimes it's easier to pretend it's perfect.

    But that's not the way to love. For me I've learned the two most sure ways of killing love is selfishness and purposeful ignorance. I see this in others, and I try to honestly question it of my self.

    But it is not easy.

    Amazing, post, Ivie!!!

    keturahskorner.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes to all of this. Often other people will see the best in us when we know our flaws. I know I can be irritable. I know I keep record of wrongs. I know where my weaknesses lie, but in that, I can cling to God for strength. I know He loves me and He's guiding me. He doesn't want perfection. He wants my heart. So while I may fail at times (read: a lot) He still loves me and I just have to keep my faith.

      I saw a video a few months back saying no act can get you into Hell just as no act gets you into Heaven. It's your heart, your faith, that keeps you in the light or in the dark.

      Happy Valentines Day, Keturah! <3

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    2. That video sounds like it was spot on ;D Thanks! You too ;)

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  3. This is so encouraging, thank you.

    Life can have it's ups and downs, and I hope you get out of your slump soon-I'll be praying for you. <3

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    1. Thank you!

      Definitely. I'm doing better now, but this is definitely a daily struggle of choosing kindness or allowing the enemy to take place in my heart.

      Happy Valentines Day, Gray! <3

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  4. Oy, valentine's day? *glances at calendar* Yikes! Boy, am I so behind on the calendar, I don't know when all these holiday things are supposed to happen...

    We all have our moments...we just have to know how to deal with them, and how to turn to Christ, because He is the only place where we will find true love, happiness, and help against our sin.

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    1. Haha, I forgot it was coming until I went shopping with my dad on Monday. XD Time just flies by with everything. XD

      Exactly. This is so encouraging, so thank you!

      Happy Valentines Day, Julian! <3

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  5. This is so true. It's so hard to not fall into a comparison trap on the internet. We forget that the people on the other side have just as many struggles as we do, if not more. We forget that computers and internet are just another mask we put on. It's 'easy' to sound positive and always happy when you have spellcheck and proofreading.

    Love is harder in our everyday, real lives because everything happens in the moment. We can't take back what we said. We can't edit our words after we say them. We have to accept whatever comes from what we say and do. But maybe that's what it means by saying love never gives up. Despite our failures and shortcomings, we continue to get back up and try again because we love.

    Thanks for this reminder, Ivie! It's so important to remember that there are real people behind these words with real struggles that we may never hear about. I hope you have a wonderful day!

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    1. Exactly. I find myself comparing things and then stop myself because everyone has struggles. Everyone has ups and downs. What really should happen instead of letting ourselves compare, we should allow ourselves to be inspired and work hard to make the goals we want to reach.

      So true. On computers, we can edit words, but in life we can't. Someone may forget the words we've said, but they'll never forget how we made them feel.

      Thank you for reading it! Have a happy Valentines Day! <3

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  6. How encouraging, Ivie! I almost forgot it was Valentine's Day (it doesn't seem very much like a holiday over here) but your post made me think about love and the meaning behind the word. I think you make some very good points in this post. It's so easy to struggle in acting and thinking in a way that truly follows the definition of love. This is something that I really struggle with. It's so easy for me to start unburdening myself, or to grumble even in jest or only half listen to other people. Sometimes it's so hard not to be irritable and snap at others. And like you said, sometimes our minds are grumbling, even though our faces and words are sunny.

    But I think that's something to take note of - even when it's hard, you can still persevere and spread love. Even when our thoughts are far from perfect (And honestly? There's a part of me that wonders if thoughts can ever be true perfect all the time), one thing that still matters is that we can spread God's love through our actions. And I think you've done that well, Ivie. In your personal relationship with God, you may not have been able to show love as you would have liked, but you've been able to show so much joy and love even when things are hard for you, and that is truly great. You are an inspiration because of your constant ability to encourage and be positive, and always striving to do better, as this post illustrates.

    I don't know (nor am I asking to know) what's going on in our life right now, but I do hope that things get better for you soon. Thank you for this reminder about love and what it really means, Ivie. I hope that you have a very happy Valentine's Day!

    ~True // atruewriter.blogspot.com

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    1. First off, this comment has made my day. This morning has been a bit stressful because we've been rushing around like crazy and reading this took a huge burden off my heart. Thank you for that.

      Second, everything you said is so true. Even when our thoughts aren't perfect, by striving to show love, we are still trying. Clinging to God is the most important thing in all of this and striving to be more like Him. He loves us no matter what. It's all about what's truly in our hearts and our faith in Him.

      Nothing's really going on, this is just the struggle of someone who's not quite sure what direction her life is going at the moment. I graduated high school last year and I'm kind of in this in between stage of phases of life and it weighs on me sometimes. Honestly, I have so many blessings in my life and there's nothing wrong. It's just this phase in life, but I'm doing my best to learn from it and observe it for what it is.

      Have a happy Valentines Day, True! <3

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  7. Wow this was like a straight shot into the heart (no pun intended :) I can relate so hard to what you said about being a positive blogger. And lately I've been simmering on that verse, Its so so hard to understand and I think it goes against all popular notions of love. I think even in a lifetime i would still be pondering over that beautiful verse.

    Thank you so much for this post Ivie, you have no idea how much I needed those words today. God Bless you xox you are incredible despite what you feel inside <3

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    1. Your words always make me smile. Thank you for that, Anna! I have been thinking about what I was going to do for a Valentine's Day post and I knew I needed to do something with that verse because we all need a reminder sometimes. (Especially me, lol.)

      I'm so happy these words were what you needed. Thank you so much!

      Happy Valentines Day, Anna! <3

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  8. Oh, I love this post, Ivie! It's so true--so often I hear the lovely 1 Corinthians, and then forget it. I do need to work on how I portray and show love to my family and friends.
    I hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day! We don't do a lot to celebrate--Dad gets us girls cards, I bought myself a book :)), and then we'll make fudge later. What do you do to celebrate?

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    1. Thank you! I've heard it a couple times to and I love the verse, but often forget it. I'm trying to be more mindful and apply Biblical truths to my life more.

      That sounds like fun! The way we celebrate changes every year, lol. My mom's going to make a nice dinner and we're going to have chocolate pie. XD

      Happy Valentines Day, Allison! <3

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  9. I just want to make a note that I am fine. I go through moments of sadness just because I'm trying to figure out my next phase in life. In this time, I'm trying to strengthen my faith in the Lord and focus on all He has blessed me with. I think I might have made it sound like I'm in a depressed slump- while I won't deny feeling depressed at times, overall, I'm living an amazing life, a dream, really. If someone told me this time last year that I'd have a blog, I'll have met great people online, and I'd be so close to publishing my book, I would have laughed at them and doubted all of that.

    This just shows how far God can bring you in a year. Thanks, y'all, for all your encouragment. Your comments make my day and put a smile on my face. I never thought I'd meet this many amazing people through blogging. When I started, I thought I'd have a few followers and tons of haters because I don't back down from my beliefs.

    God works in wonderful ways. Everyday is a new page in the books of our lives. Thanks so much to everyone. Just wanted to clarify that I am totally fine. <3 <3 <3

    Happy Valentines Day. *leaves table full of chocolate*

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  10. My definition of love is sacrifice. I've been thinking lately about God's love. Not anyone could take the beating he did. His love had to be so great for him to let himself go through what he went through. He didn't have to come to earth and he certainly didn't have to go through the beating and the cross. But, he did. And he would have gone through it all even if one person was even thinking about accepting him. Why would he do it for me? I'm so broken and I have nothing but my heart to give it to him. He sacrificed everything so that I could be his for all eternity. His love caused him to lay down it all for me, and take that beating to heal my hurt and my pain and my brokenness. Whenever I think of this, I get this overwhelming feeling of peace and that God's got his arm's around me. That everything's going to be okay. I hope it makes you guys feel the same. <3

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    1. This is beautiful. I'm so happy that these words resonate and that you feel His arm around you. <3 Each and every one of us is broken. We all have flaws, faults, scars, and doubts. The amazing thing is, He still wants us. He wants as for himself. A song that totally blows my mind is Control by Tenth Avenue North. I love it because one of the lines goes like this: God You don't need me, but somehow You want me... it's amazing to think about He doesn't need us. He WANTS us.

      Happy Valentines Day! <3
      (Is there a name or initials I can call you by to know who you are and not mix you up with other Anonymous commenters? Only if you want to leave that, though. Don't feel like you have to.)

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    2. Thank you. <3 That song is so awesome! "The king of heaven wants me so this world has lost it's grip on me."
      It blows my mind to know that God wants ME. I feel so messed up, but he still wants me no matter what. That one line you mentioned says it all.

      Happy Valentines Day to you too! <3 I'm sorry if I've made things confusing! I thought of that, but I keep forgetting to come up with something. xD Is there a word or a set of initials that would let you know it's me? Maybe WA (writing adventures) or something like that?

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    3. WA is perfectly fine. I don't get a lot of anonymous commenters, but sometimes a few pop up.

      When I first heard that song, it made me really think in a way I hadn't before. I had never considered that God doesn't need me. He is the Creator, above everything. He created the earth and everyone in it. He doesn't need us, but He wants us and that totally blew my mind.

      <3

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    4. Okay, WA it is. :)
      Same here. I guess, what first made me think of God's amazing love was the verse that says "by his stripes we are healed", and I think that means physical healing and the healing of our hearts. There's this song that says: "And if it's true, that you take broken things, then here I am Lord, I'm all yours."—I couldn't stop listening to it. If I think of the complexity of my problems, and think of all the things I feel like I have to do for acceptance, and then I hear something this simply said, but so amazing, it's hard to accept it. I feel like after a while, nothing is like people say it is. That I need to somehow earn God's love. But, it's not like that. It really is that simple, and that's such a special thing to me. <3

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    5. I think that's Broken Things by Matthew West. I don't listen to a lot of his music, but the songs I've heard are quite beautiful, including that one. And it's so amazing to think of the love God has. It can be hard to accept it, especially when the world makes us think we have to earn that love. God loves us no matter what. <3

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    6. Yeah, it is. I don't listen to him at all, really, but that song was always on the radio.
      How can something so great like God's love be hated by so many? It hurts. :\

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    7. It does hurt. I think right now, especially in our country, we need God. People have lost sight of Him and everything has been flipped upside down. Right and wrong are skewed and it worries me sometimes, but I know He has a plan.

      I like a few of his songs. I know there's one that I really liked, but now I can't remember the title, lol.

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  11. I have been struggling a lot with this lately. I'm just glad that God loves us through all the struggles.

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    1. You're not alone. It's so amazing to know, almost mind blowing actually, that God loves us no matter what. He knows our hearts and He sees what's inside of us. That's comforting to me, especially when times get tough. <3

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  12. This is beautiful. Such a lovely reminder that I need EVERY DAY. I can completely relate to the always-positive-sweet-and-considerate person online, when I'm having a terrible day and so NOT feeling the way my fingers have typed.

    I'd have to say my definition of love in unconditional. Of course, there's so much more that can to added to that simple little word: selfless, merciful, compassionate. But I like how you summed it up in three words: God is LOVE. Because that is so TRUE!! So many pass that fact by because it seems far too simple, but not all treasures are complicated. Usually, it's the most infuriating puzzle that can be solved by the simplest of solutions.

    Thank you for sharing, Ivie! And your blog is looking FABULOUS! Love what you've done. Keep striving for His Light, m'dear. :]

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    1. Thank you so much! Describing love as unconditional is very important, too. I think of love as unconditional because God has unconditional love for us, which is mind blowing to me.

      It can be harder to be positive in person, but I know it's worth it. We all have good days and bad days.

      Thank you for reading! And thank you! I may go back to the simple layout because some things are easier that way, but the color scheme came to me while cleaning my room. I love peach, it's my favorite color, and I love gray. I felt this looked more subtle and professional than the vibrant blue. (I still love the vibrant blue, but it wasn't flowing well with my design, lol.)

      Thank you! God bless you! <3 <3

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  13. This post.

    THIS. POST.

    I think about some of these things frequently! Sometimes I'll be replying to comments when I'm feeling down, and I'll look back at them like, How in the world do I sound that enthusiastic when I couldn't be feeling less enthusiastic? Why did I put "lol" when I can't even smile, let alone laugh?

    Aaaand also readings the posts of other bloggers who sound super happy all the time, and I don't blame them at all because I don't like it when bloggers sound sad all the time, but it's so TRUE how hard it is sometimes to imagine certain bloggers crying in bed or feeling as if the world is crashing down around them because they just DON'T SOUND LIKE THAT on their blogs. Ever. I think I'm one of them. xD

    But anyway, your post is just... It really hit home!! (btw, LOVE your header! <3)

    Lila @ The Red-Hooded Writer

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    1. Thank you.

      THANK. YOU. (lol, I couldn't resist XD)

      I know I come off as very perky and happy and I wanted to remind people that no matter how happy someone seems, they aren't always happy. Every word I speak, I'd like to think I mean it. I may not feel the same mood, but the words I say are truth nonetheless. I wouldn't want to put out sad, dreary content, either. I want to put up happy content because I'm talking to myself as much as I'm talking to others.

      I'm glad you liked it! <3 <3

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  14. OH MY GOODNESS IVIE I THINK WE ARE LITERALLY TWINS OR SOMETHING. 😂 I literally did not even see this post before I wrote mine… and I just saw your comment on mine lol and came over to read this… WHAT THE HECK *hugs you and gives you waffles* this is a lovely post, dear. ✨💛 I can relate sooo much to the struggles you're opening up about here. It's hard to stay positive and uplifting 24/7… especially when we can't see the payoff. But THERE IS A PAYOFF. YOUR KIND WORDS INSPIRE ME AND ALWAYS BRIGHTEN MY DAY AND I HOPE YOU KNOW HOW SPECIAL AND CHERISHED YOU ARE ❤️❤️❤️

    rock on,
    abbiee

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    1. OKAY, THIS COMMENT HAS MADE MY DAY!! I thought it was so awesome we wrote similar posts with no clue the other wrote what they did, lol. Thank you so much for reading it. <3 <3
      OH MY GOODNESS, THANK YOU! You inspire me so much to work hard and be postitve and just do things my way, not the way the world tells me to. SO THANK YOU!! <3 <3

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  15. I celebrated Valentines Day with a cup of coffee, chocolate from my parents and cards to friends.
    Thank you for this lovely post and reminding us what real love is. Love to me is trusting the unseen, following Him even though we can't see beyond. Love is taking the time to love the unlovable, be a friend to the hurting, and giving people a non judged zone where they can confess and truly find freedom.
    Thank you again!
    Have a lovely week!

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    1. That sounds wonderful! I'm glad you had a happy valentines day. I agree with what you said, as well. Love isn't just a word, it's an action. <3
      Thanks, have an awesome week, too. <3

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