We have words in our vocabulary that are for daily use, but at times they are not taken the way that they should be. Karen Byrne @karenbyrne talks to us about a four letter word that we use often, but it comes with so many definitions. This four letter word is powerful and has a major affect on the lives of others.
I want to talk about a word that keeps creeping into my conversations way too often. I use it myself, so I’m not judging anyone. This word, though it may seem harmless – may even seem life giving, life affirming or just make you feel good. But it’s not always taken that way.
For some, the only person who ever loved them was their dad, and he left, so they believe Love abandons.
For others, their mom tells them she loves them but doesn’t make it to any of their ball games even though she promises every time. To them, Love disappoints.
For some, their friends say they love them, but then gossip about them, so Love betrays.
Some know love to be the one who comes to them in the middle of the night, leaving them feeling hurt, alone, dirty and scared. They don’t understand why love harms.
Others have heard they are loved only when they get good grades or do their chores. They believe love is conditional.
Some people have only known others to love them when they need a favor. Love uses them.
The list of distortion of the word goes on and on. But love is so much different than that. The Bible teaches us God loves us, but until we actually experience that love, they are just words on a page. Telling someone who has a distorted view of love that God loves them, is like telling them who won the ball game last night. It may sound interesting, but it doesn’t really change them.
God is pretty clear that we are to love him with all of our being. He’s also pretty clear we are to love people. And he didn’t tell us to just say the words “I love you”, but he gives us examples of how we can love each other. We need to be patient and kind, forgiving and humble, willing to put others first and forget about our own desires. Love is not simply an emotion, but is a motion.
And there are people around us that need to know what love really is. It’s not about stuff, or the current trend, or the latest boy or girl friend. It’s about God, our Creator, who made us for himself, loving us so much that he sent his Son to live in this broken world, to be broken for us so that we can be restored to the relationship God intended for us to have with him. Love means nothing without knowing what Jesus did for us. Without that, it’s just an empty word that gets thrown around way too much. God sent… Jesus died… those are action words, not emotions.
So today, be the example of love that someone else needs… they won’t know what hit them.