rethinking love.

25 05 2008

came across this article this past week and it struck a specific chord in my life and my conception of what love looks like. you see, i think i understand the concept that the definition of who God is, is love. what exactly this looks like is a big mystery for myself and i’m sure millions of people all around the world wonder about it too. what does the love of the perfect and blameless creator truly look like?

the reason i think that hardly any of us truly have it right, or have any part of it figured out, is because of how we truly go around living our lives. i mean, if i’m supposed to be a christian, one who is modeled after Christ, then shouldn’t i be showing His love in everything? i would even go as far as to say that love is the driving part of the christian life, and without it being the number one thing that we all live by, maybe we’re letting Him down. the author of the article, Jim Palmer, states that, “I’m finding myself is that virtually every aspect of knowing God is related to love.”

everything is woven in and out of love and it’s framework presents itself in all i should be doing and saying day-to-day. i mean, God’s own Son put love at the premier place when He established what your two highest commandments were: love the Lord your God, and love your neighbour as yourself. it’s all about love! i mean, we as human beings try to sit back and try to follow the rules of religion and of morality and then we go out in our world and try to follow five million different conflicting ideas of how we should deal with everyone and everything. we tire ourselves out by trying to fulfill everything to a ‘t’ and then we should be satisfied that we achieved the precedent or followed the law. christianity becomes a system and a religion full of achievements and standards that we try to reach, and if i get to a certain point then surely i am closer to God and i am holier than thou.

this kind of christianity tires me out. it’s incredibly hard to keep track of rules and regulations, standards and morals, and to monitor my own personal holiness. but isn’t that the whole norm of our culture and this world? to try to set up boundaries and rules by which we can confine everything and keep it in a nice little neat box? yep, we get thinking that we have a total grasp on what it means to be like Christ, that we have a control valve on the whole situation. it seems like that might be the problem with what we see as a fall-out and abandoning of the church by supposed Christ-followers. how often do i walk into church to see fellow believers, or see my peers during the week trying to show how they measure up or how they’ve achieved a greater level of faith. i’m sick and tired of everyone trying to measure up and trying to show that they have “arrived.”

this is not what i want my faith to look like. i want to know God on a deep and personal level, that i might be able to have an idea of what it means to love like it hurts, to love fully and recklessly. I want to be able to say that i loved to the best of my ability and to know that that is what He wanted from me. I’m not going to get there by following all the rules or the standards, or to try to measure up with the front-row, big Bible doting brother who yells “amen!” every minute of the service. it’s not that he’s got it wrong, but that i don’t want to feel like i have to achieve that. if I’m going to draw closer to God and see Him in everything it’s going to be because of love.

love is not going to be glamorous, and it’s not going to get the accolades and honours we might think would be cool. instead, we’ll be the one that getting down and dirty with the “outcasts”, the “nobodies”, and even the “uncool”. love also means that we’ll be spending time relating with the rich and the famous, and everyone in-between. love is not something that should be limited, for God gave us the greatest example in being there for everyone, sinners and all, that needed to know what love was about. if anything, it’s going to be the ones who are the lowest that are going to be the ones who might grasp this the most. love is unconditional, unchanging, unimaginable until you yourself feel it.

so enough with the rules, enough with feeling that i’m not good enough because i haven’t totally measured up to the religious. instead, it’s time to love, and love fully; to show what it means to be changed because the Father who created us loved us even though we are flawed. and oh that this love might make a difference in those who see it, that we might reflect God’s perfect image of love. it’s not going to be perfect, and surely we’ll stumble along the way, but hey, it was never the perfect that needed love in the first place. and this is love: to know that God loves me and that that’s enough for me.

as Palmer put it at the end of the article, when love becomes our anthem and our life, “anything is possible.”

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