Wednesday, March 2, 2011

thoughts on love

I've been thinking about love recently. It's a tricky thing, isn't it? I think it's safe for me to assume that the majority of humans desire love. Whether it be love from parents, friends, a spouse, children, or even animals - we love love!

But why?

There are a lot of things we think will satisfy us and make us happy. Sometimes that takes the form of money - if I just get xxx amount, I'll be happy. Sometimes it's things - if I just get xxx thing, I'll be happy. But, more often than not, I think we actually convince ourselves that if we just 'get' love, we'll be happy. It makes me think of a song on a live John Mayer album I have. It's in the middle of a song and he starts talking about life and his 'philosophy' on things and he says, "I've messed with all the approaches but one and it's gonna sound really corny but that's just love...I've done everything in my life that I wanna do except just give and feel love for my living." He goes on to describe the love he's not talking about by saying its not a "roman candle firework hollywood hot pink love" but instead he's talking about a "I got your back" kind of love.

Sure, that sounds great! Let's all give and get that kind of love...

But wait - how do you do that?!

This is the crux of the matter. We dont know what real love is! You could ask fifty different people and get fifty different answers based on what each person feels is the most loving thing. A mother of five might say the most loving thing is when her husband gives her a night out with her friends whereas a herion addict might say the most loving thing is her boyfriend giving her a needle. Obviously, these are two drastically different ideas but both portray the fact that we dont know what love is because we're basing it on the wrong things.

The Bible says "God is love" (1 John 4:8b). Wow! So, God is love but what does that mean? It goes on in that same chapter to say, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Propitiation basically means an atonement/making amendes/restitution for the sin that we have all committed.

That thought should completely blow our minds.

This love - the true love - of God is so big, so wonderful, so infinite, so powerful, that when a sacrifice was demanded, God made the conscious decision to sacrifice His own Son - not someone else's son. He had originally (in the Old Testament) set up a way that sins were atoned for (through sacrifice Gen 3 & 4) and, rather than change that principle, he followed His own rules and sent Christ to be the perfect sacrifice to shed blood on our behalf, freely giving us a way to come to God. God loved His Son. Jesus wasn't some pawn that God used to fix everything because it was easy. No, Jesus was God - in a way that our minds can't completely understand - and He laid down His life for us willingly because it was the only way. "By this [Christ's sacrifice], love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgement..." (1 John 4:17a).

Back to my first point. Everyone loves love. Why? Because God is love and even when we are lost and dont believe in Him, He created us in His image and therefore we have within or very being a desire for love which, in essence, is a desire for God. We'll keep searching for the perfect love until we realize that it is only within God that we can truly find satisfaction. Only God can show us and give us genuine, lasting love.