Fighting too much? Arguing too often? What can I do?
God calls us to love. God’s main goal for our lives is to love. That is our job for today. Believe, think, and do whatever it takes to love.
Focus on loving the way God wants us to. He shows us the way. That is His wisdom.
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Proverbs 10:12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles
Here are the key ideas:
- Focus on love and not fighting.
- God’s goal, always, is for us to love each other.
- Jesus has shown us what love means.
The catchword “covers” links with neighboring verse 11, where “overwhelms” translates the same Hebrew word. Here the term signifies neither deceitful concealing nor overwhelming violence, but the covering that promotes healed relationships, the way that a bandage covers a wound.
Hatred stirs up, love smooths over. Discord and dissension spring from hatred, but harmony is nurtured by love. Without naming the human faculty of speech, this verse not only offers guidance in using it but praise for its beauty when used rightly.
Where does love come from? Love comes from the Holy Spirit. It is a gift. It is fruit that grows in me.
Because we have received the Holy Spirit, we can love, whereas before, we could not. I tried, but it was useless.
Is love optional? Yes, I get to decide whether to love or not. It is a gift. I can use it or not. It is a fruit that I can cultivate and grow, or not. So, you get to decide. I often am not loving. I can be mean and cruel. I have no defense. “Master Jesus the Messiah, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22
- Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
There is good news in that the Word of God and Jesus offers an understanding of the source, character, requirement, and value of love, based on the nature and actions of God our Father. Jesus sums up God’s goal (command) for us as one of loving God and our neighbors.
You shall love the Master your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ~Jesus
I must confess that I am not the best at this. I am challenged many days. Let’s dig in. There is much to learn on how to love. The Greek word here is ἀγάπη agape. The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament.
How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. Unlike our English word love, agape is not used in the New Testament to refer to romantic or sexual love.
It does not refer to close friendship or brotherly love”, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.
- Romans 15:30 — Now I urge you, brethren, by our Master Jesus the Messiah and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,
- Colossians 1:8 —He also informed us of your love in the Spirit.
Here is the bottom line on love: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.… We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:9–11, 19).