First, let us take a look at love as if there were no one on earth to use love. Love IS, whether there is anyone to use it or not. If not one other person ever existed in the universe, God would still exist, for God does not depend on man for His existence. Since God is love, then neither does love depend on mans feelings to exist. So love itself, is not a feeling. It was Love that moved the substance faith to create this entire universe, before any person existed, for love is the only thing which can move faith, and of course it moved according to God's hope, which was His earnest expectation.
It can be said that love is the 'glue' which holds the universe together, and love is the fabric which binds all souls together, whether anyone realizes it or not. Love flows, forever and continually, always flowing, in EVERY direction at once. Love is the most predominant, pervading and prevalent thing in the universe. Love, of itself, is always pure and CANNOT be contaminated in any way, and love CANNOT hurt.
Now, if that is clear, then we can move on to what use we put love to. Every thing, and every person has love as it's/their foundation, but for us, we are only concerned here with 'people,' and how we use love, either for our betterment, or for our downfall. Either in a way which will build us up, or in a way which will tear us down.
Here is where 'feelings' come in, and where we go astray in the use of love. Every feeling, whether it is a feeling of fear, hate, joy, peace, greed, malice, happiness, or whatever, all are based on love, that is, they all have love as their foundation. The love flowing beneath these feelings is always pure and perfect, so love cannot be perfected in you, because it is already perfect. What we build on love is not always so perfect.
Let us first take a look at how we should use love, and then we will examine all the ways we have misused love. Since love flows in and through every one of us, then it should be clear that the only way we can use love rightly is to let it flow out of us to all of creation. Out flowing love is what is referred to in the Bible as 'charity,' or the GIVING love. This use of love is the greatest thing we can possibly ever do. There is no greater thing than this, and all 'great' works are built on this very use of love.
It can also be said of love, that love is all there is, because since love is the foundation of everything we know, if love were totally removed, all we know would cease to exist. Only when we are letting love flow out of us to all will we build on it the things which pertain to life, such as peace, joy, kindness, contentment, etc., and beauty and purity takes on a totally new meaning for us. Against these, there is no law. That is, these cannot harm in any way, but rather they bring forth health and welfare not just for the soul and mind, but for the physical body as well.
Love should be like a warm summer breeze moving out from us to everything and everyone. Just as a breeze moves over everything unconditionally, whether it be trees, grass or garbage, so should love flow out unconditionally to everything and everyone around us. When this happens, we form positive feelings and of course our deeds will be positive also.
In ancient writings this use of love was called the 'plant' of righteousness and truth, and in present day religious circles it is known as Agape love, or Godly love, and it is what is meant by the word 'Charity,' or the giving part of love mentioned all through the New Testament.
The more people who put love to use in this way instead of just a few will enable the New Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, to be established, for without this use of love, there can be no true righteousness.
All works we do are based on love, but where we first go astray is when we 'EXPECT' love from someone else, or any source other than self. God is love, and God is in you by Christ, so the only place love can be for you is within your very self. When one depends on someone else for love, then that persons outward flow is stifled, and that person then becomes demanding and the use of the love flow becomes selfish, conditional, and as the Apostle Paul would have put it, devilish.
For example, a few of the things which stem from this egotistical, selfish attitude are; If you don't love me, then I will not love you. After all I have done for you I have the right to expect love from you. If you love me you will do so and so. You don't love me or you would want to spend all your time with me. You could show me your love by buying me such and such. You never tell me you love me anymore. I am sorry, but I just don't love you anymore (If you don't now, you never did). Nobody loves me, everybody hates me; Think I'll eat a big ol' bug.
Are you beginning to get the idea? All of these statements are selfish, conditional and totally egotistical, and stem from trying to reach out and rake love in from someone else instead of letting it flow out of yourself to all others. From this use of love stems greed, envy, hatred, fear, malice, and all such.
Don't misunderstand; We are to receive love from others, but never demand it or even expect it. If it comes, then good, but if it doesn't, it may be that the other simply is so busy trying to rake love in to ever let it flow out. Our outflowing, unconditional love flowing out to them just may be the catalyst they need in order to let love flow out also.
The only possible way I can have a problem with love is if I fail to let it flow out to you. If you do not love me, that is your problem and I flatly refuse to make it mine. I will help anyone with a problem if they want help, but I will not make their problem my problem. The idea is to eliminate problems, not multiply them.
The more people who can follow or learn to follow this rule, which is the same kind of love God has for us, the quicker things can be turned to the good of all. We may never know the quantity of Gods love for us, but we can know the same quality of the love He has and send that same love out to all others.
Always remember this. It was NOT for the 'good' people Jesus died, but he laid down His life for the very ones many would be ashamed to be seen in public with. Pure love shuns no one. But, it doesn't stop there......
Jesus said that unless our righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees we could in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20). Even the scribes and Pharisees loved those who loved them, and cared for those whom they called "friend". This is an easy feat, it's easy to love the lovable. Thus, Jesus told us 3 times in the gospels to love our enemies. Being that everyone in the whole world is either your friend or your enemy (Mark 9:40, Luke 9:50) this is the proof that God loves everyone, or we would not have been commanded to as well.
Further proof of this little understood fact is in Matthew 5:45 "That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for ?He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." We also find in Romans 5:8 that Christ loved us so much that He died for us while we were sinners.
In the big picture, the only real enemy we have is satan, so this means we are to love satan also. When I mention loving satan, if it seems to you I mean any kind of devil worship, then this proves that you still have no idea of what Love is, or how it works. The idea of grinding satan under your heel might sound good, but this idea is of satan, and not God, for God would no more grind anyone under foot, than He would cause sickness and disease.
If you believe so strongly in the Old Testament illusion of God as a war monger and doombringer then you should study more on the life of Jesus Christ, for He was the personification of the Word and the perfect will of God as opposed to destruction that the people of the OT brought upon themselves.
I have never heard it put better than to say, just let your love flow out, and if some of it happens to hit satan, he will run from it.
Love, to satan, is like a branding iron would be to you. Letting Love flow out to satan hurts him, for he cannot stand any love which is not based on selfishness, and have an in-gathering, selfish motive behind it.
satan requires you to hate him, for he is hate, or rather hate is of him--the intense negative emotion or thought of desiring ill-will on someone. There is nowhere in the Gospels or in Acts where you can find Jesus or the Apostles casting out demons while holding malicious intent in their hearts. When one hates anything or anyone, that one is SATAN'S PAWN. The reason that the grinding of satan or his followers under your heel sounds good, is that most things of Satan sounds good until one finds himself clutched tightly in satan's grasp with no apparent way out.
A practical application to all of this, in real life matters is if one does encounter those who follow satan, instead of wishing bad things to happen to them and them to meet utter calamity, rather pray for them and want good things for them such as peace, joy, and kindness--the things only God's love can bring into their painful lives. Though they want nothing more than to destroy you, don't fall into their trap.
Again. Charity is the out-flowing, unselfish, no strings attached, altruistic part of Love. This is why the Scriptures say that the greatest of all is Charity. Any kind of emotion based on anything other than charity is of satan, no matter how good it seems. The flow of charity makes no distinction between anyone, even satan. Charity flows "out" to trees, worms, animals, people, devils, bugs, reptiles, garbage ..... are you getting the picture yet? However, anything which does not fit into the category of charity, then charity has an adverse effect on it. Letting charity, or out flowing Love flow toward satan has the same effect as a red hot branding-iron put to your back would have on you. Thus you heap coals of fire on his head (Proverbs 25:22 and Romans 12:20). The entire 4th chapter of 1st John and the entire 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians are the best single parts of the Bible that define what love in the form of charity is all about.