Some general observations:
- The word “fruit” is in the singular.
- These “fruits” are character qualities good for everyone.
- A lack of this fruit means you are not living by the Spirit.
- Fruit-growing is a process so baby fruit is still fruit.
- Love is the law of God’s Kingdom. James 2:8; 1 John 3:11; Romans 13:8; 1 Peter 1:22; John 15:9-12
- Love is something you DO. John 3:16; 1 John 3:16-19; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
- Greek words for love:
- Eros: a sensual love, a passionate love; used to indicate the love of a man and a woman for each other; embracing all aspects of sexual desire; not found in the NT.
- Philia: the most common word for love. It indicates a fondness, between persons within or outside the context of family. Friendships. Philadelphia called the city of brotherly love.
- Agape: not necessarily a stronger word then eros or philia in Greek usage. But the NT writers used it to describe a love beyond those other words. The NT brings a meaning that has much less to do with feelings of the heart and more to do with feelings of the mind. It is as much an act of the will as an act of the emotions. It is a conscious action, something that you decide to do.
- Love comes from God, not from your natural self. Galatians 5:22; 1 John 4:7; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Ephesians 4:15; John 13:35
- General insights:
- Love is intentional. A command – Matthew 22:37-38
- Love is impossible by yourself.
- Love is always appropriate – don’t wait.
- Love makes you vulnerable.
- "Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness, but in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken, but it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be safe from all dangers of love is hell." C.S. Lewis
- Love is unconditional.
I maintain an unselfish, tender, caring heart towards people that is free from a critical spirit.