Watching the Winter Olympics does not bode well with my attempt to love my neighbor or at least others from another country. In fact, it brings out this ferocious, competitive monster within me that wants to stomp every other competitor except for those from the USA!!! Jeepers!
Okay…I might be slightly exaggerating. The stories of hope, perseverance and resilience are heart-wrenching! My favorite thus far is about the Canadian mogul skier who won the Gold with the brother who has multiple sclerosis cheering him on. So touching.
Regardless of my pension for embellishment or my lack of neighborly love, I can only hope that I will turn all lovey-dovey by tomorrow for the sake of my husband! If not, I can hardly imagine what our Valentine’s Day will look like!!! Hee, Hee!!!
Soooo, since love is the word of tomorrow; I thought I would figure out exactly what love looked like! I only have a few hours to get my act together before I miss the romantic holiday completely!!
According to C.S. Lewis’s book, The Four Loves, love can be defined in…wait for it…four ways!!! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!!)
- Storge – affection
- Philia – friendship
- Eros – romance
- Agape – unconditional love
No matter what the type, love can be difficult sometimes. However, as followers of Christ we are called to freely give agape love, which transcends emotions, feelings, wants or desires.
Basically, we are told to be kind even when we don’t want to be and help others who aren’t even nice to us.
Easy to say. Hard to do.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…. 1Corinthians 13:1-13
This scripture about love is not just to be read at weddings. It should be remembered every morning when we wake up, throughout the day and when we lay our heads on the pillow. Unfortunately, we won’t suddenly become full of agape love because it just doesn’t happen by osmosis. Bummer.
Taking deliberate action to ‘be loving’ in every situation takes effort, discipline, restraint and a trust in God that reminds us that we are His obedient followers – and not after our own selfish aspirations.
It’s kind of like an Olympian doing what needs to be done instead of what they want to do (i.e. crawl back in bed). Most of us struggle with the ‘shoulds’ and ‘wants’.
Sadly, we simply practice agape love when we feel like it. And I bet for most of us, that isn’t often.
The truth is that implementing agape love into our lives would not only keep us out of much trouble, but it would also make us feel better on a consistent basis. Funny, how that works!
Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Romans 12:9
God knew what He was doing when He commanded us to love each other.
Think about it. When we allow hurt, resentment, fear, hate, revenge, self-righteousness and anger to live inside of us – there is no space for love. In fact, all of those horrendous emotions actually keep us from our goal of living in the freedom of Christ. Their burden weighs us down and hinders us from accomplishing our purpose and winning the GOLD of life!
Let go of the junk. Take hold of God. Let Love take hold of YOU!
Happy Valentine’s Day and I hope you enjoy the rest of the Olympic Games!! Go Team USA!
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 8:17 – I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
Photo courtesy of Meg Hays. Copyright 2014.