The obvious answer to this question is yes. We can love a friend but know that if we lend them money we can count it as lost — we will never see it again. We have family members that otherwise to the fact that they are family we probably would not have any relationship with them. Still, we can love them or trust them or either-or.
But do we really love them and/or trust them?
This boils down to the definition of love and trust. Let us see what the dictionary has to say about these words.
– an intense feeling of deep affection.
– a great interest and pleasure in something.
– feel deep affection for (someone).
– like or enjoy very much.
– a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.
– the action or process of affecting or being affected.
– firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.
– believe in the reliability, truth, or ability of.
– complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
Based on the above definitions it would appear that if you do not have a deep feeling of affection or like or enjoy very much someone, then you have put them in a position outside of love. There are people who you delight in (this the world classifies as love) while there are others you like but without that deep affection or enjoyment (this the world classifies as not love).
If someone has broken your trust, where trust and faith are equivalent, then they often end up in this position of not being loved. In instances where there is a deep affection and not just enjoyment, it takes many waves of abuse to lose that feeling of love despite there be no trust. Often in those situations, it takes rational, rather than feeling to arrest the spiralling situation. Not all people who break your trust end up outside of the love bracket.
There are other situations where you do not have a deep affection for someone or even enjoy much but they are reliable and trustworthy. There are people who keep firm to accepted moral principles and exhibit this in their behaviour. They may be an acquaintance, just someone in passing or someone you have known for a long time and you trust them, but without that deep affection or enjoyment.
You may further narrow this down by saying that you trust someone in a particular setting, whereas in another setting they may be susceptible or compromised.
Taking all of what has been said so far the conclusion is clear.
When dealing with love and trust as described by the scriptures it becomes more like a pristine sky hidden behind storm clouds raining muddy waters. Once you pierce through the murky veil everything becomes clear as a path lit by rays of the sun passing through phoenix’s wings.
The Bible shows us that faith and love are not the same things.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.1 Corinthians 13:13
The word charity (Greek: ἀγάπη) here means love.
The scriptures in fact describe several avenues of love that are all connected at the source. Let us see what the scriptures have to say.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.John 14:15
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.1 John 5:3
13. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
The keeping of his commandments or following his instructions appear to be at the top of the list. This keeping of the commandments is defined as Love. This puts God at the source of man.
Loving one another
34. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.John 13:34-35
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.1 John 4:7
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church (a “calling out”, a called out assembly of people), and gave himself for it;Ephesians 5:25
Again we see here that love is of God. Love is once again connected to God thus putting God at the head and the source of Love.
Love your enemies
43. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;Matthew 5:43-44
Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.Romans 12:14
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.Romans 12:20
Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.1 Peter 3:9
If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:Proverbs 25:21
We are commanded to love our enemies and as Paul puts it, the more we love them, the more we heap coals on their heads for the purpose of bringing them back to the source — God.
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.Psalms 143:8
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.Proverbs 28:26
8. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;2 Corinthians 4:8-9+16
16. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
5. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.2 Corinthians 5:5-9
Anyone who does not realise that they need God to navigate this world is foolish. Those who trust and thereby keep the commandments of God will be persecuted, but God is greater and will deliver them. Those people who walk thereby exhibits full trust in the Ancient of Days — the one who delivers from evil and from the clutches of this world.
4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.1 Corinthians 13:4-8
9. Let love be without dissimulation (hypocrisy). Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.10. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;Romans 12:9-10
Let all your things be done with charity.1 Corinthians 16:14
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.2 Corinthians 5:5
Love will never pass away, neither in this life or the next. To love we need to do as the passages above have described, and most importantly, at the foundation, we need to have a focus, the following of the instructions of God which encompasses loving both God and man.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.Matthew 4:4
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.Matthew 10:37
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.Proverbs 8:17
The source of love is God and the person that reciprocate this love is loved by him. He is the beginning and the end of all things. He is the source of wisdom that guides men and no flesh can know him without knowing his son. No flesh can know the son without glorifying the father. No flesh can know the father without putting their full trust in his word, walking in it and living it.
A believer is persecuted because he trusts (has faith) in God. He demonstrates his trust by keeping the commandments (commands/instructions). Believing in the words of God that he will provide for all needs and although persecuted he will be delivered, guided and reap the rewards of the wisdom imparted by God and ultimately what is promised at the end.
Loving God would mean that you have to embrace him, his instructions wholeheartedly by walking in them — by your life and works. Therefore, you have to immerse yourself fully and rely on him keeping his promises to help you navigate this world and when the inevitable persecution comes knocking on your door.
Loving your enemies doesn’t mean being foolish;
An enemy speaketh sweetly with his lips, but in his heart he imagineth how to throw thee into a pit: he will weep with his eyes, but if he find opportunity, he will not be satisfied with blood.Ecclesiasticus 12:16
Rejoice not over thy greatest enemy being dead, but remember that we die all.Ecclesiasticus 8:7
There is no head above the head of a serpent; and there is no wrath above the wrath of an enemy.Ecclesiasticus 25:15
For as a man hath destroyed his enemy; so hast thou lost the love of thy neighbor.Ecclesiasticus 27:18
He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.Job 16:9