“Love” is defined in so many ways that it is even associated with wrong things, and it is because humanity has not known what true love really is, the love that the Bible speaks to us about.
We could say that to love is to do charity work, to give one’s life for a nation, to protect a loved one, we can extend this article by giving many other examples, but what is love really? The Bible tells us it is possible to do the above and still not have love.
If love is none of this, then what is love? The letter of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians tells us clearly about that:
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
According to the previous verses, we can see that loving goes beyond our actions, it is something that is born from within us, you cannot say that you have love and have envy, boast, do the wrong thing, just think of yourself, irritate yourself with others, hold a grudge against others, etc.
How can we say that we love God and not love our neighbor? Well, as John says, how can we say that we love God whom we do not see and hate our brothers whom we do see? True love is shown by loving our neighbor, not seeking our own good but that of others. Remember that we have the greatest show of love on the cross, to Christ giving His life for sinners who deserved nothing good.