We are a people of transient fads and lifeless terms. I feel a great injustice when a powerful word’s meaning is as diverse as the number of people that the planet possesses.
Certain words were not meant for individualism, they were not made to be defined differently for each person. One of those words is, “Love”. This is why there is so much “hate” today. We have adopted the idea that says, “In order to love me, you must agree with what I choose.” This is false, as God loved us, and clearly He disagreed with our lifestyle, else He would not have sent Jesus to save us from our sins.
If love is to be individually interpreted, it then has no value, or eternal substance. I reel in rejection if another is not able to accommodate my definition. Therefore, by my definition, I render the word empty and useless to my life, though I still desires its application. I make it impossible for people to love me, if I get to define what love is to me. How can I receive love from others, if my definition of it is impossible or impractical? How are we to love everyone, if the definitions of love vary from person to person? Love then becomes a vacillating theory with no true foundation.
Love is a word that is not meant to be defined, only experienced. (Love’s only true biblical definition was the person of Jesus Christ, Jesus was 1 Cor. 13) Love takes action in order to experience it. It is easy to sit behind a thread and tell everyone that we should love each other, it is quite another thing to practice the love we say that we should have. For to practice love, I must do so in the context of God, who is love, therefore acts lovingly.
Love is best displayed when it is shown towards those I disagree with.
It is easy to “love” those of your own camp. I feel as if I view hypocrisy in the raw when I read people saying, “Love, Love”, yet their threads are just as vicious as the one that they are responding to.
Love was not enough for God. God loved us before we ever knew it, yet that was the problem, we didn’t know it. A love that is floating around in the cosmos is unattainable. So, God defined love, and gave. Gave to who? His enemies, us, those with whom He disagreed with. When our “love” is simply floating around in the cosmos of our mind and cheap opinions, (or a useless thread) it is also unattainable. Unattainable love, is not a receivable love.
God defined love through the context of sacrificial action.
Without the sacrifice of Jesus we, as Christians, would have no context for the word love. It was Jesus’ willingness to die for His enemies that made His definition of Love, world-changing. We all have enemies, those who do not agree with our theology should not be our enemies, but they are. Your enemies might be the “christian” that is intolerant and hateful, according to your “thready” opinion. Or your enemy might be the LGBT community, or it might be “cultish” christianity and it’s leaders who, “Hurt people with their doctrines.” It matters not who your “enemy” is, if they are human. If we are going to quote love, we must also join it with giving and sacrifice. If you and I are not willing to die for those we disagree with, then we can scream, “LOVE” all day long, and it will be like an annoying cymbal, without the orchestra of sacrifice and action.
Without sacrifice and service for those we call our enemies, our love is not made perfect. Love alone is not enough. It is just another over used fad for our shallow generation. The word alone solves nothing, it is the action of laying our lives down for our “enemies” that gets the attention of the world. If saying that we are to love everyone were enough, God would have never had to send His Son. He might have taken an easier route and just yelled from heaven, “I love you.” But someone would have said that it was just the wind.
I find threads both irritating and highly unproductive. I have personally never witnessed someone changing their beloved opinion because someone argued with them, or called them names. However, I have witnessed someones heart change when they personally witnessed their enemy sacrificing for them, showing them love, instead of telling them of love. If we cried in prayer for our enemies, as much as we post our comments, we might see ourselves change towards them, and actually see them as God sees them. We might actually be able to love them, instead of just blogging about it.
I would dare to say that it is impossible to show true love through social media.(I might be wrong, but at the very least, it is much easier to do in person.) I think that we can show encouragement, kindness, and empathy, but true love? Sacrificial, dying to self, relational kind of Love, is only possible when we love Jesus more than our philosophies, when our enemies are more important to us than being right, when our actions transcend our words and Jesus becomes flesh through us again. This is the kind of love that the world needs, not the current idea of, “Whatever I choose to do you must accept, else you are not showing me love.”
It is possible to disagree with someone and still sacrificially love them. By the threads we read today, you would not think that to be the case. Once you disagree, you’re a bigot or a hater. Yet, God disagreed with our lives, but He still died to save us from our self-imploding nature. According to many people’s definition, God would then be a “bigot” and a “hatemonger” if He disagreed with us. There are still things that God disagrees with concerning our lives, yet He continues to love us, not because what we are doing is right, but because love is supposed to soften our hearts, so that we can see more clearly. He longs for people to come to repentance through kindness, not wrath.
Love is the kindness of God, but we must not mistake His love for His condoning our actions.
God made it clear that love is not love until it gives, not a generic giving, but one specifically that gives to those that it is opposed to. Love, if not married to sacrificial action, is just a word, and it is not enough.
So, keep your peace. Leave the threads to those who chase the immature. Exit your social media so that you can rub shoulders with your enemy, and learn to love him. Who knows, maybe your life will be as contagious as Jesus’ was?
It was, and still is, the blood of Jesus that makes His love for us worth so much. That blood came because of pain, rejection, mockery, ridicule, despise, and torture. Maybe that is why we like talking about love, instead of living it?
The word “love” alone, is not enough. Love in its grandest form, is the God of heaven dying on a cross for those whom He disagreed with, those whom made themselves His enemies. God showed us that it is not enough just to say, “I love you”, He proved that love with blood.