What’s a definition? If you’re like me, a definition is something that I seek when I lack understanding. That’s because a definition gives meaning, context and substance. When we say that we are defined by something then, it means it creates meaning, context and substance in our lives. In other words, if you want to understand someone, seek to understand what defines them.
Defined by Love
In His Scripture, God is generous with descriptions of Himself. He is “love”. He is the “way, truth, and life.” He is a refuge, shield, and fortress. He provides these descriptions because they help us finite creatures, begin to understand an infinite God. Just like a dictionary’s definition, they engender meaning, context and substance.
Scripture is also very clear as to what should define Christians. “They shall know your disciples by your love.” In other words, if you want to make meaning out of a Christian’s life – you should be able to do so through the love they have for other believers. The context of a Christian’s life –the overall atmosphere in which they operate – that too should be characterized by love. The substance, i.e. the nature, of a Christian’s life should be actionable service demonstrated through love. Love should be what defines us, not only in our own hearts, but in the eyes of everyone who encounters us.
Loving like this is not easy. However, as a former boss used to say, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Let us be defined by love, and in doing so may we be more like the One who is love.