How do you define love? Many people through the years have attempted it. In the past I’ve offered a couple stabs at it: here and here. My thoughts were largely geared toward love for each other.

Augustine, however, is much smarter than me. He defines love first and foremost toward God, and I like his definition. It’s good for reading, pondering, thinking, then starting all over. Here’s what he says in On Christian Doctrine [III, x, 16]:

I call ‘charity’ [i.e. love for God] the motion of the soul toward the enjoyment of God for his own sake, and the enjoyment of one’s self and of one’s neighbour for the sake of God.

John Piper adds: “Loving God is always conceived of essentially as delighting in God and in anything else for his sake.”

Man, how different is that definition from what you hear people saying of love these days?