The Better Way…………A Time to Love
Love is a word that has been overused, misused, bandied about, cheapened and corrupted. The mention of love assaults (and often offends) our senses from popular songs, advertising, promoting—tinkling and screaming and exhorting us from every direction. Even most dictionary definitions focus mainly on love in the sense of sexual attraction and relationship between people.
The ancient Greeks had several definitions of love. The four most commonly used are:
Eros, or sexual passion
Philia, deep friendship
Storge, love of parents, children and families
Agape, the love of God for man and man for God.
Perhaps agape love is the strongest and purest of the four, but any attempt to describe agape love will fall far short. For God’s love is vast, immeasurable, unfailing, everlasting and far beyond our human understanding. God IS love. That’s what he is made of. That’s what he is. God’s love is extended to everyone who has ever walked the face of the earth, whether they believe in him or not, whether they’re poor or rich, highly successful or dismal failures, good or bad, nice or nasty, rulers of nations or beggars in the gutter. Nothing we do will make him love us less. And nothing we can try to do will earn his love. It’s a gift and it’s free, because Jesus paid the price.
God created us and loved us from the moment of our conception and will love us to the day we die, whether we acknowledge him, mock and scorn him, deride him or deny him. He longs for us to turn to him and be born again by his spirit, and to live with him forever. And his command to us is that we love one another.
That’s easy when it’s our families, or the inspirational people we look up to, or our best friend, or the lovely people in our church. Not so easy, though, when it’s a druggie hanging around our child’s school, or the bully who made our schooldays a misery, or a dictator creating suffering for thousands, or the sarcastic boss you see every day. But still a command. For love is a powerful force, and there is no weapon against it.
‘Love Wins’ is the title of a book that has caused controversy. Whatever your viewpoint, that title speaks truth. In the end, it is only love that will remain and conquer the horrors of this present world.
Martin Luther King Jnr said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
So let’s accept the love of God in Jesus, so that we can love ourselves and love others, and in our own various ways hold back the darkness. It’s a time to love.