What is Love?

Posted: 02/10/2010 in Liquid
Tags: , , ,

In Liquid, we’re doing a 4 week series on the greatest commandments God ever gave us… to love God, to love others, and to love self. Our society and even the Christian religion sometimes give us unhealthy ideas of what this can look like.

Sometimes our love for God can either appear to be a list of rules and consequences or a one-time prayer rather than a fluid relationship.
Sometimes our love for others can be distorted or misrepresented, leading us to damaging friendships and relationships, sex out of true context, war, and ultimately bitter loneliness.
Sometimes our love for selves can manifest as pride or twist into competition, cutting, eating disorders, and other failed attempts at trying to make ourselves “better”.
In a world where sports stars, movie stars, and pastors cheating on their wives or husbands is a normal publication,
where divorce is more frequent than life-long marriage,
where you can’t sit in a room of more than 20 people and one of them hasn’t suffered some sort of sexual or physical abuse from a parent or relative,
where a show like The Bachelor is not only popular, but thought of as a dream or an ideal,
and where we haven’t seen a decade in hundreds of years without a major war,
we start to wonder whether love is even real anymore, or if it was just some sort of romantic myth. And if it is real, what is it? What would it even look like to see it? We’ve all but lost the idea of love in our schools, governments, families, and selves, and I believe, like many concepts, there is always a root, or heart, issue.
As early as grade school, we are taught things like the “Golden Rule”: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And in Sunday school, we learn, “Love others as you love yourself.” So we understand that unless you know how you yourself should be treated or loved, you won’t be able to understand how that is actualized in your treatment of others. You can’t simply love out unless you love in. And I would take a further step back to say that unless you can really figure out how to love God (the only one entirely deserving of our love), then there is no way that we could be able to embrace the image of Him within us, and thus the image of Him in others.
And how could we possibly understand how to love God without looking to Him as the example and exploring how he has lavishly loved us with creativity, beauty, and sacrifice.
How does nature speak to God’s love for you? How does Christ’s death speak to God’s love for you? How does the Spirit living inside of you attest to God’s love for you? How does God’s provision, hope, Word, and purpose for you tell you that this crazy little thing called love actually and incarnationally exists?
What is your response?
This is how you love God. And this is the beginning of the chain of a love revolution in your world.

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