Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog
“I love you” is a phrase that is often thrown around without pausing to stop and think what those words actually mean. The world has corrupted the definition of love. People will say, “I love pizza” then turn to their spouse and say, “I love you.” Love, for us, has become more like infatuation in today’s world. There has to be a distinction between love and infatuation. So where do we find love’s definition? We find it in the perfect, practical, and powerful Word of God.
“I love you” to the Christian should mean, “I love you with a love from God.” Mankind has invented some truly incredible things. Self- driving cars, submarines that can go to the deepest depths of the ocean, cures for thousands of different diseases, buildings that stretch thousands of feet into the air, and the list goes on and on. Humans have invented some truly impressive things, but love is NOT one of them. 1 John 4:7 tells us that love is from God. Love is in no way of human origin because it defies the very nature of mankind. God loves us in spite of what we’ve done. Any wicked deed, the dirtiest of sins that perhaps we can’t even forgive ourselves of; God’s love is truly remarkable. Man’s love is weak, it has no substance. If we only love the lovable then that is not a love from God. We were meant to be impressed by the love of God. We were meant to be inspired by it. 1 John 4:11 says, “beloved, IF God so loved us, we also ought to love one another…” This “if” is not a “perhaps God loves us.” This Greek word is a marker of a condition, existing in fact. It is proven as fact. Let this love from God push you to do something you wouldn’t normally do. Love the unlovable, love God’s people, love God fervently.
When we make “conditions” for love we are failing to really understand what kind of love we ought to have. We might say “well I’ll love him/her when they apologize for being so rude,” or “I’ll show my love when he/she admits that they were wrong!” We may even think, “The moment they show me some love I’ll return the favor.”
God has already made His own conditions. If you want to know God, love one another because He loved us first. He demonstrated true love for us to imitate. God has given us the definition of love. It is limitless. Does love cost us anything? If it doesn’t we may need to re-evaluate whether or not we are truly loving.
What is love? Love originated from God and that’s why God is love (1 John 4:16).
I didn’t know her name but we called her the Tootsie Roll Lady. Every Sunday kids would flock to her after services had ended. She would open a large bag full of the candy and give it to all of us. She ended up passing away a few years after we moved, and I remember dad saying, “Mrs. Compton passed away.” I said “who?” he replied, “The Tootsie Roll Lady.” I didn’t know much about her, not even her name, but I knew she loved us. To this day when I think of love she pops into my head.
1 John 4:16 says, “We have known and believed the love God has for us. GOD IS LOVE. And whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” God came to earth in the flesh, does that not speak volumes of His love? If you were in a perfect paradise and you saw the wickedness and pain on earth, would you leave? Jesus would witness the destruction of the earth on account that every mans thoughts were wicked continually. Jesus would witness the sinful degenerates perverting the natural ways of life in Sodom and Gomorah. Jesus would watch the sinfulness of man through the ages and then leave His throne to come save us. Every time we scheme and turn our backs on Him, God still loves us. Not only that, Jesus is the one who is mediating in our relationship with God for our own sake.
Love is not infatuation or a feeling of butterflies, so what is it? It is an emotion that was created by God. It is an action done by God for our benefit. It is an attribute that every Christian should be striving to perfect.
With that in mind, I love you.