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"Love" - What is it?

What are some of the ways people use the word "love" (whether good or bad)? (Write your answers in the space to the right of the numbers. Do not limit the list to ways you use the word.)

























The type of love which must influence everything we do is described in this passage:


1. First priority:

See also:     

2. Second priority:

See also:

3. A "fact of life":

See also:

Examine the types of "love" you listed above. Based on what Jesus says in the Matthew passage, write one of the following in the space provided, to the left of the numbers:

How do you interact with other people? Which types of "love" could be used to describe the things you do? Which types of love could not be used to describe you?

Remember that love is to be expressed even toward "enemies." (See Matthew 5:43-47.)

Dennis Hinks © 1998

"TEACHER'S NOTES" for the Worksheet:
"Love" - What is it?


This worksheet was written to encourage people (such as in a Bible study or youth group) to make personal evaluations of their lives. Since different groups have different needs, you may need to modify some of the questions on the worksheet to fit your own situation.

THE FIRST SECTION (Ways people use the word "love.")


The goal of this section is to have people write down both good and bad ways that people use the word "love" - both the legitimate uses of the word, as well as abuses of the word. These will then be evaluated as "good" (if the definition refers to something that the Bible always encourages us to have), "evil" (if the Bible says it is sin), or "depends" (if the Bible says that it is good only in certain contexts or situations in life).

In some groups (especially younger groups), people may be hesitant to write down bad uses of the word "love." They may be fully aware of how the word is often abused, but may be embarrassed or uncertain how others in the group may react (laughter, etc.). You will need to adjust the study to accommodate this tendency, if it exists.

THE SECOND SECTION - ANSWERS (The Bible defines "love.")


A. The type of love which must influence everything we do is described in Matthew 22:37-40.

[The reference is to be written in the space provided on the worksheet.]

The Bible DOES mention other types of love (example: the "friendship" or "brotherly" type of love, seen in Romans 12:10 and 2 Peter 1:7), but the type of love described in Matthew 22:37-40 is the foundation on which all other legitimate types of love are built. The Bible also mentions many of the "evil" types of love (the improper ways that many people in the world use the term), but it uses other terms - the proper terms - to describe those concepts (example: "lust").


B. Three "Priorities"

The "See also" section, at the end of each line, is intended for listing other passages that you may wish to include, which give additional information for that specific topic (or priority). Some suggested verses are given below.

1. First priority: Love for God

Verses for the "See also" Section: Examples of verses about "Love for God" include the following:



2. Second priority: Love for Neighbor

Verses for the "See also" Section: Examples of verses about "Love for Neighbor" include the following:

NOTE: The idea of "Love for Enemies" should be stressed, because:


3. A "fact of life": You already DO love yourself.

Verses for the "See also" Section: Examples of verses about "Love for Self" include the following:



[The back side of the worksheet needs to be kept blank (or extra paper provided), so the answers for this section can be written down.]

These questions may need to be handled differently with each group. In some groups, people may be uncomfortable in sharing insights about changes they need to make in their own lives. It may be necessary to deal with these issues by focusing on general principles, and then encouraging each individual to spend time in self-reflection, to discover specific applications for himself. In other groups, people may feel free to be more open and personal.

The goal is for each person to honestly evaluate himself, and to develop an awareness of any changes he may need to make in his life. Attitude or perspective changes, if needed, should be encouraged. Encourage the group to not merely to talk (or think) about making changes, but to do something about them! (See James 1:22-25.)

Dennis Hinks © 1998