Should We Be Known by Our Love or Our Theology?

I love Instagram. I love being able to share photos with my friends and family. It is a great resource for that. It is also a great resource for people to post inspirational quotes. Recently I was on Instagram and I saw a photo with the caption, “We will be known for our Love, not our Theology”.


I’m not sure where this quote comes from but when I first read it, I thought, “that’s great! Let me repost!” But then I took a deeper look at it.

What this statement is trying to do is separate Love from theology. The problem with that is LOVE COMES FROM THE THEOLOGY.

When we separate “love” from theology we are immediately in error.  In fact, when we try to separate any part of life from our theology, we are in error. Our theology should be the foundation of our worldview. Consider the following questions and try to answer them without thinking about theology.

  • Why do I exist?
  • Why do I work?
  • Why do I rest?
  • Why do I marry?
  • Why do I have kids?
  • Why do I eat?
  • Why do I love?

The answer to these questions are rooted in our theology. When we separate theology from love we have lost all meaning behind it. When we understand love through our theology it has a profound meaning. To illustrate this, let’s look at a brief theology of love. We find this theology in 1 John 4: 7 – 12.

  • Love comes from God.- 1 John 4:7
  • God’s love has been poured out on me. – 1 John  4:10
  • Because God’s love has been poured out on me, when God looks at me, he doesn’t see my sin, he sees his Son and his Love. – 1 John 4:9
  • This allows me to love others and to reflect God’s love. I ought to love, as God loves. – 1 John 4:11 – 12

This theology is beautifully encapsulated in 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us”

1 John 4:19

Wow! Understanding that our Love comes from God makes all the difference because God’s love is a perfect love.

It is a Love that comes from the knowledge of God that allows us to love unconditionally. To love the “unloveable”. To consider others better than ourselves.

If we understand this we can say “We will be known for our Love BECAUSE of our theology.”

We should NEVER try to separate our theology from life. When we do we deny ourselves the ability to see the deeper and more meaningful truths of life. Our knowledge of God ought to defines who we are because knowledge of God (theology) is the foundation for everything meaningful in our lives.


  • How would you respond to the quote “We will be known for our love BECAUSE of our theology”?

John Lane is a worldview teacher and curriculum writer at Artios Academies. He has a passion for teaching the next generation to think deeply and live biblically. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife, Windy, and his daughter, Riley.