You Need Three Loves

With all of the things you and I have going on.
With all of the responsibilities and appointments, it’s impossible for us to invest in everyone.

So, we have to choose. We have to love everyone (Jesus teaches us this), but we can’t love everyone in the same way… to the same degree.

It’s impossible… our time is limited.

I can’t love everyone as much as I love my wife.

I can’t get to know everyone and love everyone as much as I love my close friends.

But, I have to love everyone.

So how to I balance it?

I love with a plan.

1 Thessalonians 2:8 We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.

Here are 3 loves that you and I should have…

Common love.

It’s righteous to love others. Jesus teaches us this when He says, “Come to me all who are weary.” We have to love everyone. We are commanded to put others before ourselves and to care about their eternity… to share God’s love with them.

Close love.

This goes deeper and shares more of life than common love. You show close love to your friends and people that you believe in and that believe in you. You pull these people closer, spend more time engaging them and more time sharing yourself with them. You usually hold something in common with these people (hobby, church, personality, place of work, etc.).

Cherished love.

This is that close circle that you know and love best. These are the people that you’re willing to share the deepest parts of your life and emotions with. We trust these people and cherish our time with them. It’s a mutual love and respect. No one holds the upper ground in this relationship, you’re there for each other and go through difficult times together. These are our family and close friends. These are the people we rely on most and go to first when we need someone.

Knowing thses 3 levels of love can really help us love the way Jesus did. They help us make more time for the things and people that matter most while still loving the world. I’m betting that many of us already have this in place and just didn’t know it.



  1. You’re right on as usual. It’s impossible to hold everyone in the close and cherished category, though some try. Our hearts naturally gravitate towards those in which we hold a commonality. As the relationship unfolds, we reveal more of our true selves and vice versa.

    Ironically, I just wrote about this topic, as Jesus was loved by the crowds, and yet he maintained 12 close friend, 3 cherished,and 1 best. That’s a pretty solid model.

  2. I completely agree with you, Jonathan. Jesus even modeled the three levels of love. He had the the few disciples he was closest to (John, Peter, James), the rest of his 12 disciples, and then anyone who started following him/weren’t following him. Even in his disciples he had 3 levels: John, the one he loved most, Peter/James who got to see him transfigure and were closer to him, and then the rest of the 12.

    We don’t have time to invest equally in every single person, so we need to have the different levels of love.

  3. Great idea, and crucial for setting boundaries. It can be easy to forget that if I start giving all of myself to everyone than there’s not much less to give to those who I’m called to cherish the most, like my family. I do agree with you, sir.


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