God knew that we would have a jacked up understanding of love so He decided to give an example of what love looks like. This example comes in the form of Jesus. That is why we sing about love coming at Christmas. Because, the most pure human example of love came to us at Christmas time.
Jesus then modeled for us what love is. He taught about it. He lived it. He even died to show it. Everything about Jesus was love. He was generous, kind, dedicated, patient, without envy, pride, he was not boastful or self seeking, he didn’t keep a record of wrong, he protected, he hoped, he persevered, he never failed. Jesus taught that love was more than an emotion, but that it is a deeply held belief that every human life has value and that value come from simply existing and nothing else.
We’ve tied things to love. You do this, this and this and you’ll get love. You don’t do this, and you’ll keep love. Love somehow became behavior based rather than existence based. Basically what Jesus showed by his life is, “you exist, therefore I love you.”
The way which He loved challenges my concept of love. He loved people so much that he desired more for them than comfort, he desired good. I think we have a hard time with this one. We like to think that expressed love is always comfortable, but Jesus challenged that. Love is rarely comfortable, but it is always good.
He also challenged the idea that love is conditional. Love does not have condition.
He also challenged the idea that love always allows a person to make harmful choices, that do not reflect love, to self and others. When a person isn’t acting in love towards self, LOVE always invites them to a better way, a way of love. When a person isn’t acting in love towards others, love does the same thing, it invites people to live in a better way, a way of love. Love is not the same as tolerance. Love is much more pure. Love has nothing to do with behaviors, culture or choices so love can not be tied to tolerance. Love can only be tied to people, and only because they exist.
Do you follow me?
It’s hard I know.
It’s hard because we’ve learned some pretty jacked up things about love. We’ve learned so much bad that it’s hard to even believe the truth is truth and that it is good. Take a moment to think about your understanding of love. Is it anything other than you love a person merely because they exist? Existence is love’s only condition.
If you’ve not done it. Take some time and read through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible. They tell the story of the life of Jesus. Write down the ways that you see Him love and what He teaches about love. What do you observe? What do you learn? How is it different from you understanding of love?
Share some of what you come up with on this blog so we all can learn from one another.