I used this in church once …
LOVE IS . . .
(An homage to 1 Corinthians 13)
Let me tell you about this crazy little thing called love.
Love is something that you do, not feel.
Love is active.
Love always motivates a response.
Love is hard to do.
Love has very little to do with like.
Love is a choice.
Love may never come easily.
Love involves sacrificing your agenda.
Love will get you kicked, bitten, sworn at and hated.
Love never lets you get away with giving up.
Love doesn’t let you play truant from the lives of others.
Love keeps you awake at night.
Love will break your heart.
When you think that you are finally on top of things, Love will shake it all apart.
When you think you can see it all clearly, Love will poke you in the eye.
When you are comfortable and satisfied, Love will turn your life upside down and inside out.
Love will remain active long after you are exhausted. Love will take you beyond your limits. Love is the rock that will shipwreck your idyllic lifestyle.
Love will constantly drive you into the places you do not want to go, to see the people you don’t want to see, to do the things that you swore you would never do. Love will drag you kicking and screaming in its wake into the scary place just beyond your comfort zone.
Love is the greatest thing we are called to.
When I started out I thought I had love all figured out, I thought that I had all the answers and that I would never be caught out. Now that I’m a bit older and only slightly wiser I can see that I know less about love than you could write, in capitals, on the back of a postage stamp . . . twice. But one thing I really honestly do know is that God is going to make it clear for us when we finally get to see Him. When we stand before Him it won’t be to argue about gifts and manifestations, shaking and falling, or to ask unimportant questions about dinosaur bones and big bang theories. When we stand before Him we will see love revealed. All we’ll see is love. When we see Him face to face He will show us love in all its glory, in His presence we will be saturated by love, it will surround us and wash over us, penetrate every pore of our being and fill us to overflowing.
He is love.
Okay, so maybe it is incredibly pretentious to have a go at interpreting what might be one of the most popular passages in the New Testament, but let me explain a bit before you completely make your mind up.
Love is a really overused word. How many times do you hear people say things like, “Oh, I just love your dress,” or “I love this song,” or “I love this programme.”? A lot, huh? We bandy the word around so much these days that we have succeeded in watering down the meaning of the word itself. Nowadays it’s as though love just means like. Real love is way more than like. The sort of love that’s talked about here, the sort of love that we have to consider as setting the standard by which all other expressions of love should be measured, does not involve red roses and delicately crafted sonnets. Nor does it focus on expensive gifts of fragrance and jewels. It does not major on affection and attraction.
Real love is such as this, “Whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8b) That is the level of commitment of real love.
Love of that order means that someone is prepared to sacrifice their very being to save the other party from pain, suffering, heartache and death. Love of that order means that someone will give everything to sustain the other party, even if there is no response. Love of that order is beyond our own feeble capabilities. In my life, and my experience, Love like this only comes from and through God.