My question today is this. Why? Why not love? Or maybe a better question is, why don’t we love? There are only a few reasons as far as I can tell. I’m going to do my best to keep this streamlined, but it may go off on a few tangents, please pardon me.
First and most common, we don’t love because we don’t feel loved. Being as we are, and even as God is, we desire to be loved and be loved. God was the “bigger man” by stepping up and loving us first, in hopes that we’d love Him back because we already were and felt loved. As inhumane or cruel as it may seem at first, we really only want to love those that love us. That is the basis for most relationships. You find something in common with some one, you’re kind and they’re kind, and you develop an interest and love for each other. This is true whether it be friendships or family or romance.
I personally don’t think that it’s impossible to love without first feeling loved, though I know of many people that do. Each person is made with a spirit, a soul, and that soul is given by and likened to God. I believe that with that comes a small dose of an ability to love, even without acknowledging Christ. If you want to dispute that, feel free to email me.
With this also comes a reality that if we feel loved by God, we can freely love others. Love is a need, and when that need is met by The One who designed it to be met by Him, we don’t need love from people and so, because we love God and feel loved by Him, we obey Him and love others. If you aren’t content, and don’t feel loved, and especially if you’re a Christian, you will find it terribly difficult to truly love others. This is because you don’t feel loved, which means you feel empty. You can’t fill up a car with an empty gas pump.
The next reason, I think, because we don’t know how to love. Solomon and God both make it very clear that knowledge is vital. Solomon says “though it costs all you have, gain wisdom and understanding.” God says “my people perish for their lack of knowledge.” A desire to love must not be confused with the ability to love. I have a desire to speak Italian fluently, but that doesn’t automatically mean I know Italian. So it is with love.
The most interesting thing about this is that love is received in different ways, and in different extreme ways by those who understand it the least. People who have more wisdom, especially the elderly, can receive love in a variety of ways because they understand that each word and each action can have multiple meanings. They understand that intention is more important than results (at least when it comes to love.)
That last line may seem a little shady so let me expound. If my best friend is dying, and needs a blood transfusion, I will gladly go up to the hospital to give him my blood. If he is as true of a best friend as Jesus describes, I’d go up to the hospital to give him my heart. Now, let’s say that my blood type or my heart does not match his. Am I any less of a friend because I couldn’t donate my blood or my heart? Is my love any less valuable because I couldn’t follow through with the action? No. But, this story is told from an inside perspective. My friend may never find out that I didn’t donate because I couldn’t, or some one hearing the story may think that, and think I’m a very terrible person.
If a person truly loves another person, in and through the perfection of love that is Christ, they will show love or at least seek to show love in every way. The love languages would become irrelevant because I would be speaking all of them. I don’t just compliment my friend if I love him, but I pick him up when he runs out of gas, I give him twenty dollars when he’s running low on cash, I listen to him after his girlfriend breaks up with him. That is love.
Now what really baffles me is this. If my friend is gifts oriented, and I am words of affirmation oriented (and we’re saying that neither of us have a love that is perfected), why would I not give him or her gifts? There are only 2 reasons possible. Either I in fact do not love this person, and convince myself that I do because I want to be proud of being a loving person, or I do not know how to love this person because I don’t know that they are gifts oriented. If you somehow do know this person’s love language and do not speak it, yet claim to love him or her, you are not only a liar but also unloving. I plead that if you are this way with some one, you repent and forgive, and ask for forgiveness.
There is nothing greater than love, no greater feeling that to love and be loved. Even God desperately wants your love. This is how I know. Jesus plead with the Father saying “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” If you read Genesis, you will find that we are created to fellowship with God. In Psalms David writes “how great are your thoughts of me oh lord, that they outnumber the grains of sand!” God is happy and fulfilled when you love Him, and He loves to love you.
My last note. The big difference between you and God (besides the obvious) is that you need love, while God wants love. God existed before you, but you did not exist before God. God is sustained without you, but He so desperately wants to live in you.