The world tells me I must love myself. It tells me to surround myself with people who nurture my love for me. Therefore, I can love myself so long as everyone around me makes me feel good.

It stands to reason then, that if something feels right and gets me what I want, it is love.

The criminal's code of silence for the sake of unity is labelled love; the tyrant's control 'for the common good' is called love.

Are you as confused as I have been? You might as well tell me a cow is love because it provides milk.

I have spent years trying to figure out the true definition of love and then one day I came across it. There are several pieces to fit together so please bear with me. I found nine pieces that form love, and none of them equates with what the world believes love to be. Listen to the definition of love that I found:
          1)   Love is patience. Have you ever seen a patient mother -- human or otherwise? Patience is love and impatience is, therefore, reproach.
          2)  Kindness is love. The kindness of birds feeding their young, the sheep calling her lamb at feeding time, the debt you 'forgot' to collect, the gossip you buried, the hurt you ignored -- these are kindnesses and kindness is love.
          3)  Love is not being conceited because love is inclusive. It does not look at itself, it looks at others.
          4)  Rudeness puts someone else down, so not being rude is love.
          5)  Selfishness excludes others from your enjoyment so being unselfish is love.
          6)  Shattering another's dreams is conceited, rude and selfish, so protecting another's dreams is love.
          7)  Love is not taking offence and does not nurture hurt feelings. It kills the gossip that enjoys somebody else's downfall.
          8)  Love endures the ugly and outlives outrage.
          9)  Love never comes to an end. 'Prophecies will cease; tongues of ecstasy will fall silent; knowledge will vanish.' This is the wonderful definition of love in 1st Corinthians 13:4-6.

Remember, this describes God's love towards us and please know, as Jesus said in John 15:12, 'This is my commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you.' We are to love with God's love!

Phew! Tall order indeed! But it is what Jesus commanded, because God requires it. This love is as sifted gold-dust so give it gently or it will blow away.

Finally there is one love that is harshly dangerous. It is this: 'For the love of money is the root of all evil,' (1st Timothy 6:10 KJV).

So go with love but of all loves, choose the one Jesus commanded us to abide in. And you will need help to do so, so please go with prayer.

Elizabeth Price