My wife and I will celebrate our 6th anniversary this fall.  I regularly tell her that I love her.  I talk to my little brother on the phone quite a bit as well.  I also regularly tell him that I love him.  Though I love both my brother an my wife, the love that I have for my wife involves a romantic component that the love I have for others does not have.  So what is love?
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The greatest command of all is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and then to love your neighbor as yourself (see Matthew 22:37-40).  I fear however that we do not really understand what love is.
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Just because I say the words, “I love you,” does that really mean that I am showing love?  Sometimes those words are not loving at all and are actually said for selfish reasons in order to try to get something or to influence someone.  Real love is more than just words.  “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  (I John 3:18)  The words themselves are not the same as love, but rather they should be a part of the evidence of love.  The other part of that evidence should be the actions or deeds that are done out of love.  “If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?”  (James 2:15-16)
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As we consider love in action, the word charity comes to mind.  In fact, in one of the most popular English Bible versions, the Greek word “agape” is translated love 86 times and charity 27 times.  This reminds us that charity is certainly an aspect of love; however, we must also realize that although love should involve action, it should also involve more than that.  The word “agape” has the idea of affection or benevolence.  We typically think of affection as “love” and benevolence as “charity”, yet both aspects are found in this one word.
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I Corinthians 13 is often referred to as the love chapter, yet the word “agape” in this passage is often translated “charity”.  The context however clearly shows that this love is to be more than just charitable actions.  Consider verse 3:  “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”  Giving goods to feed the poor is how charity is often defined, yet this verse is teaching that a man could give everything he has away and still not have charity.  The reason for this is that although love involves doing things, it is also much more than just action, it includes affection as well.
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Colossians 3:12-14 says,  “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”.  Mercy, kindness, humbleness, meekness, patience, and forgiveness, are the sort of things that show love.  Yet Colossians 3:14 shows us that love (charity) is to be put above all those other things that we typically think of as actions of love.  I believe that the reason for this is that if you have love, then the other things are more likely to fall into place.
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As we try to understand the concept of love, let us remember that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind.  The heart is the idea of the affection, the soul is the idea of your life/actions, and the mind is the idea of your thoughts.  There are many aspects of love.  May it abound more and more.