Love; it isn’t always what we think it is

Let’s be clear from the start, this post is not about romance; there are plenty of blogs about that which are written by people much better suited than I to opine on that particular topic! No sir, this post is about something much more important….

Romance is based upon feelings and emotions and feelings change with alarming regularity. The kind of love I’m talking about is the love that Jesus was talking about when He was asked what the greatest commandment was…

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

(Matthew 22:37-40)

The kind of love that Jesus is talking about is a love that can be commanded; emotions cannot be commanded.  It is a choice based upon a commitment to God.  In the Greek text, the word is agape, a Godly and divine sort of love that has nothing to do with how lovable the recipient may be.  It is the love that God has for us, unflinching, unchanging and unconditional; it is a commitment to love no matter what.

We do not love God because we simply have an emotion, we love God because He is worthy of our love and because He loved us first, giving His Son so that we might live in relationship with Him.  Being in relationship with our Lord has a consequence:  We are called upon to love others in the same way that God loved us, putting the interests of others ahead of our own; by loving and serving them and not ourselves.

Regular visitors here will recognize that this is a common refrain at LR, but rest assured there is a reason for my passion on this point; it is the key to following Jesus Christ! Being His disciple requires that we deny self and that is not an easy task.  In fact, I would dare to say that we all fall far short of this goal at times;, if not most of the time.  If you look around you and take a fair and honest appraisal of what you see, you simply cannot escape the fact that an over-emphasis on self is perhaps the biggest cause of human unhappiness, not to mention rebellion against God. We simply must figure out how to love our neighbor!

How can we move forward?  Focus on our relationship with Jesus Christ, putting Him first in all things.  When we do this, our lives will begin to change for the better and we will grow spiritually.  As you might expect, another consequence will result, but that’s a post for tomorrow!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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4 Responses to Love; it isn’t always what we think it is

  1. It often boils down to selfless or selfish doesn’t it?

  2. sarahas5 says:

    Your post reminds me of Don Francisco’s song, “Love is not a feeling.” He writes: “Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of your will” after singing about the fading of feelings and the roughness of relationships. I think we, as Americans, are programmed to think of love as a feeling, an emotion, rather than a selfless commitment to loving God and loving our neighbors. Even when we talk about gift giving or serving, we talk about how good it makes us feel. But sometimes loving doesn’t feel good at all. In fact, sometimes we don’t see any positive results from our sacrificial love. It is not an easy task, which is a good reminder that we can’t do it in our own strength. I must say, I wish the mushy-gushy emotions stuck, but I am thankful I have a God I can cling to–no matter how I feel.

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