“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:13
What better feeling is there than love? It’s hard to think of one, if any. I mean love is one of those things that I can spend every minute thinking about. Past loves, loves that didn’t work, the loves that almost was, and the future loves that are to be. Admitted, I am a hopeless romantic, but if everyone is honest, love creeps into almost all fabric of life. The songs we listen to, the movies we watch, and the stories that grip us are saturated with love. Simply put, love is powerful. What other feeling can make us do the crazy things that love does?
Yet the thing is, if love is only a feeling, it will always be dependent on our moods or circumstances because all feelings come and go. No matter how powerful, at the end of the day, feelings by nature oscillate. Then can something so fickle, be a virtue? If love only remains a feeling, then it can never be a virtue. Love as a choice, however, is a different story.
All virtues must be fought for and lived out on purpose. Love is a virtue when we choose to love. Love is a virtue when we choose it in the face of difficulties, sacrifice, and pain. The same goes with faith and hope. It’s one thing to feel full of faith and hope, and another to choose to believe and hope against all unbelief, hopelessness, and despair. That’s what makes it truly faith, truly hope, and truly love when we lean into them. What makes all victory possible is the fact that opposition exists. Far and in between will I feel like loving, especially those who hate me, curse me, and hurt me intentionally. Yet there is power in choosing to love, even more powerful than just feeling it. CS Lewis writes, “Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”
In the world, feelings govern actions. Conversely, in the Kingdom right actions often times precede right feelings. Right action in the right direction will always produce the right results. Maybe not immediately, but ultimately. If I only act based on how I feel, then I will always be a slave to the moment. Yet when I choose love moment after moment, I instead build momentum that is governed by virtue. Although it might not make it easier, it will always be worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I want to feel love, and I know that I will (amen!). But love as a virtue will only be such when I choose it regardless of how I feel. Choosing to love will always be the greatest choice I make each day I live. Today, choose love, and then every day that follows. It’s worth it!
Love God, love yourself, love others. You are loved and worth loving. So love on!