What Is Love?
In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul says that there is only one stat that ultimately matters in your walk with God - one thing that that truly tells the world who you are, and that is your love (or lack thereof). The real question is, how do I grow in love? What does love look like? What does love do, and what does it not do? What is love?
12. Love Is A Day-Dreamer
Have you ever seriously thought about what you’d do with all the money if you won the lottery? Come on... you’ve done it. We all have. I remember a few years ago, Pepsi had a contest where they would supposedly give away a billion dollars. A billion dollars, people. Dang. Shamefully, I admit that I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about what I would do with that billion bucks. I mean, I had some amazing plans! Spoiler alert: I didn’t win.
Or how about this: Have you ever been watching your favorite team losing a game where a win is completely hopeless, and yet you keep wishing and dreaming and mentally inventing scenarios where they scrape out the victory? You’re envisioning a big interception for a touchdown, an on-sides kick and a hail Mary that goes down in history, right?
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says love “always hopes.” I love this word because it might be the most fun of all the things Paul describes. It’s certainly the most light-hearted and maybe even the most stubborn. In fact, when I think about love always hoping, it helps me to understand it if I just personify hope. Let’s go ahead and do that. Let’s make hope into a person...
What kind of a person is Hope? Well, Hope is fun. She’s an optimist. Hope doesn’t get down easily and she sings all the time. Hope is part inventor, part engineer, part story-teller and part magician. She solves problems. She finds a way to work things out. She sees a path forward when no one else does. She sees the bigger picture. Hope knows how to brain-storm. She’s the ultimate day-dreamer. When everyone else is bored because they are maddeningly stuck in traffic, Hope just made up the funnest game you could ever play in a car that isn’t moving.
When you look up the Greek word that Paul uses for hope, it’s used all over the New Testament and it always has to do with not only wanting something, but really desiring that something and actually expecting it to happen. You see, Hope doesn’t just conjure up a fictional best-case-scenario, but Hope thinks of the most awesome possibility and then anticipates that it’s really going to happen; and there’s a very good reason for that: Hope is a Christian.
Here’s what I mean by that - If you’re a Christian, (if you believe in Jesus) you believe that He is the King of this Universe and completely and totally in control of everything in this world. If you believe in Jesus, you believe that God is always working everything together for the absolute best of those who love Him. That means that when other folks look at the people in your life and see someone annoying, impossible or even totally ridiculous, you see that same person with eyes of hope. You look at that person as if they were your favorite team losing the big game: Sure, it doesn’t look good right now, but the game ain’t over! Any minute now, we’re gonna be giving high-fives after a huge interception and TD! When you look at hard-to-love people with hope, it’s like you’re looking at a winning lottery ticket. You start day-dreaming about what Jesus is going to do with His winnings - in other words, all the awesome stuff that this person is gonna do for the Kingdom. Sure, other folks don’t see much in them, but you don’t care about that because you love them, which means that you are infected with an irresistible desire for their best, and since you know Jesus, you fully expect the best is exactly what’s going to happen.