Saturday, January 22, 2011

Strangers of Love (elongate ramble on love)

I am overwhelmingly convinced that we do not emphasize love enough. That might sound cliche or like old school news, but love is the apex of obedience in following Christ, right? John 15, we are called to remain in Christ so that we can bear fruit. We can only bear fruit if we remain in the vine, which is Christ. What does it mean to remain in the vine? He answers us: obey my commands. He even tells us what his command is: "love each other as I have loved you."

What makes this so pivotal in our lives is that the world does not easily love. The world is concerned about one thing and that is the betterment of itself. This isn't something we're estranged to. Just watch any tv show for an hour. Just listen to your friends, or yourself, for only a minute.

But what gets me even more is the way we (people in my life, at least) talk about and view love. I'm not excluding myself. I have been known to say every single one of these phrases: "I love seeing you!", "I love those earrings!", "I looove that show!", and my favorite: "Do ya love it?!"

And then we expect the words, "I love you" to break through relationship ground. It just doesn't anymore.

Our culture has made love so meaningless. At least, that's what I see from my own experience. People saying they love each other at weddings and then getting divorced because they aren't happy with their lives. (Don't get me started on Valentine's Day. 'hey, let's make a day where we decide to love each other more and I'll buy you a bear holding a heart that represents my growing love for you.' I just don't know about that.)

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." That has nothing to do with "I". That's sacrifice, the opposite of "I", what God Himself did for us. Shouldn't we respond to love like that with similar love in return?

Man, we got to learn love each other. We have to learn how to sacrifice ourselves, feelings, desires, time, and energy for the good of our brothers&sisters. This is love. Even in romantic relationships, the romance won't linger for long, but sacrifice will.

Deciding: "I am going to love this person". Even when you're not happy about it. Even when it's not for your best interest. Isn't that love?

If it is, I'm a rather unloving person. God help me. Maybe I'm just a negative person, but I would go so far as to say we are all strangers of love.

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