One way to define something is to state the opposite.
Light or dark, rich or poor, rain or shine, hot or cold.
So what is the opposite of love?
Some might say hate but hate is an emotion and is more the opposite of like.
I Googled the question and found that the majority opinion is that the opposite of love is indifference, I agree. In my personal experience with those I care for and love, what hurts the most is not their anger which at times appears to resemble hatred but their indifference.
Here’s the definition of indifference – (noun) lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.”she shrugged, feigning indifference”
synonyms: lack of concern, unconcern, disinterest, lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm, apathy,nonchalance, insouciance; insignificance, irrelevance, inconsequential unimportant
“True indifference is 100% absence of love.” George Bernard Shaw
Indifference by definition is the lack or absence of love. It is to treat someone as if they are inconsequential or as if they are invisible or do not matter or even exist.
So what is Love?
The true definition of love is found in 1 John 4 ” 1 John 4:9-10 AMP
“In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.” 1 John 4:11-13 AMP
So the best definition of Love is found in Jesus as God’s Son laying down His life to pay for our ugliness, lack of love, indifference towards God and outright rebellion.
It is God’s love for us not our love for Him that best defines Love.
When we least deserved His Love is when He chose to Love us.
As it says in Romans 5:8 AMP “But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.”
I truly believe that where there is an absence of love there is a lack of revelation of the love of God. We will tend to treat others as we see ourselves.
If we live with a sense of a lack of love through unworthiness and self condemnation we will lack genuine love towards others especially when they cross us or treat us in a way where we don’t feel valued. We will then reap the self destructive consequences of our loveless behavior that reinforces our sense of worthlessness.
Our only hope is to look away from ourselves and to turn our eyes upon Jesus.
So,our response to this revelation of His Love is stated in the next passage of 1 John 4:
“Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another. No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! By this we come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we abide (live and remain) in Him and He in us: because He has given (imparted) to us of His [Holy] Spirit.”
John points out that there is a progressive revelation by the Holy Spirit that happens as we turn our focus away from ourselves and look towards the Love of God for us shown in the most dynamic demonstration of Love; Jesus coming and dying in our place on the cross; taking all of God’s righteous wrath for us so that we could only experience His gracious Love and Righteousness as a gift.
So, my prayer for myself, my family and for all I care about is primarily one thing; a greater revelation of how much God loves us. The more I realize this personally, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit making this truth real to me, the greater my capacity to love others.
It all comes back to Jesus, the essence of Love, something apart from Him I am void of and left to my own selfish, self-centered-ness where I am the center of my own universe. Yuck! What a lonely and miserable place to live.
I choose Jesus and His Love for me!
Through the revelation of His love for me the Holy Spirit can produce the essential fruit of Love in and through my life. And this Love is ours as a gift and produced in our life only by the Holy Spirit as His fruit.
It is the essence of who God is and is found by believing that He truly loves me; that He’s not mad at me but He is madly in Love with me. He cannot see my faults and failures anymore. All He sees when He looks at me is His Son Jesus and His righteousness shining through.
This did not come cheap. It took the blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God to wash away my sins and to make me righteous, pure and completely loved by God.
There is no other true Love in the universe than the Love of God which was demonstrated by Jesus towards us and is the opposite; the very antithesis of indifference.