Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Is Love?

Everybody just wants to be loved, they say. But what is it? Sex? Friendship? Service? Sacrifice? Yes, and much more we could say. If you love anything, you put its good before your own. People don't change that equation. Sometimes, the most loving thing a person can do is go away for awhile, or maybe for good.

It doesn't feel good, most times, if that happens. But feelings--while powerful and often good--don't always tell the whole story. Bad things (or good things at the wrong time, or in the wrong proportion) often feel good. The demands of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful sometimes feel like torture.

No matter what anyone tells you to the contrary, we are not simply animals. Those who live to maximize pleasure and avoid pain are actually very confused. It's pretty much completely backwards from reality. How did Westley say it? "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."

You are loved, right now, more than you could receive or accept. If ordinary people love us--spouses, brothers, friends, etc.--it had better be ordered to the greater Love. If not, it's just in the way.

You can't pawn off your need for the Father's love on someone else; they can't possibly fill it, and they'd die trying, if it went that far. But God so loved the world that he gave us His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. What's this "believing"? It's not any great mystery; it's to agree the words He says are true, and to order everything, as far as we are able, to obtaining that promise. Easier said than done. Yet I know no greater Friend to help me, and to help me learn.

I want to be more personal and direct, but I don't want to embarrass anyone. I only know that it seems like no one told you the truth: When the Father says "I love you," He doesn't take it back. He doesn't come up short. May the Holy Spirit be the healer of broken hearts of all kinds today!

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