Love. That’s not the topic I thought I’d talk about this week. It’s funny how sometimes what we need to talk about is not always what we want to talk about. I’ve noticed that often when a topic needs discussion, the room is silent. Silence speaks louder than words too many times.
We hear so many things about love. Yet the world is full of chaos even with all speeches of tolerance, acceptance, and “love”. Most often love means romance to the world. Love is supposedly a feeling or maybe it’s simply accepting and tolerating one another, though that clearly doesn’t end up working out. Love is so much more. It is in and through all things.
1 John 4:8 (ESV)
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love
Love is God. Wow! That verse is powerful and definitely convicting. How many times have I lived my daily life ignoring others to fulfill selfish desires? If God is love, I think we’ve been throwing that word around carelessly. For, who is God?
Romans 5:17 (ESV)
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
God is the abundant provider of grace. Love provides grace. What is grace? According to the dictionary, grace is free, unmerited favor. He is above all, in all, and through all, yet he offers us unmerited favor. What intrigues me is that we are called to love, yet it is impossible to love because God is love and we can not possibly live up to the standard of God’s love. Corinthians gives us a clearer picture of God and what love looks like.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
God is patient, kind, not easily angered, protects, and preserves. Love is more than an emotion. It’s much deeper than that because God is love. How can we throw this word around as if it’s nothing? We are called to love, yet we can not love on our own. Without Christ’s love within us, we could never love because love is impossible without God. So the real question is if we are Christians, why aren’t we loving?
So we sit in silence, searching for the answers. Seeking tolerance and acceptance. We work so hard to avoid the elephant in the room. Searching for other answers, but at the end of the day, the answer is Jesus. Love with Christ’s love.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus laid down his life for the world. Now we are called to love, yet he is the one who gives us this love and capacity to do so. A great quote I heard recently is “It’s simple, it’s just hard.” We can’t do it on our own, but if we can’t love, are we in Christ, or trying on our own?