Posts Tagged ‘love’

The greatest commandment: love

April 12, 2018 Leave a comment

Sometimes people will ask me, “What is Christianity in a nutshell?”

In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked about that. What is the great commandment of the law? What is the commandment that Christianity centers around?

Verses 37-40 explain: “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’

This is the first and great commandment.

“And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

It all centers around love. It’s a verse you could spend years pondering.

I’ve been a Christian for almost 37 years, and while Jesus teaches us to love everybody, I must admit there have been some whom I’ve had to take remedial classes to learn how to love. A few select customers I dealt with when I worked at a gas station. A certain Christian employer in Michigan. Politicians in general.

I’m not alone. Alvin Dark, a former Major League Baseball shortstop who also enjoyed success as a manager, became an outspoken Christian. He once mused, “As a Christian, God has taught me to love everybody. But the last ones I learned to love were the sportswriters.”


Richard’s Two Shekels guesses that Alvin Dark made one request about his mansion in New Jerusalem: “Father, could you put any Christian sportswriters on the other side of town? And please don’t give them my address.”

Love, of course, is an action verb and not just an emotion we swell up with when around our children or our significant other. I tell people that True Christianity hinges on helping people without strings attached for no reason, rather than looking at the situation, rubbing one’s hands together as if concocting a sneaky scheme and quietly asking, “What’s in it for me?”

Post comments here or email them to:


Should we really substitute ‘love’ for ‘charity’ in 1 Corinthians 13?

 I attended Pensacola Christian College, which, when I was there, was a predominantly King James Version-using institution. Some teachers had no problems with the New King James, but for the most part, it was KJV. That didn’t stop one chapel speaker from reading a passage of scripture using a different word, a la the New Scofield version.

(For those who attended PCC in the nineties: if I said his name, you’d know whom I was talking about).

The speaker announced he was reading 1 Corinthians 13 but wanted to read the word “charity” as “love.”

Some wonder why the translators chose “charity” in this passage instead of “love” and almost automatically substitute love. Newer versions say love.

But is love really the right word?

I understand that while the Greek word for “charity” is ἀγάπη (agapē), the idea here is a love that’s put into action. According to the Strong’s Concordance, this Greek word is defined as affection, good will, love, benevolence. It is the love God not only has for us, but the love He expects us to share to others. My understanding is in the 17th century, when the King James Bible was published, such a word for practical love was “charity”.

Yes, I know much has changed since then, but it makes me think people should do research before jumping the gun and offering to “correct” a Bible passage.