I know people usually say that money makes the world go round, but I’m convinced it’s love that does. The world went round way before trade (money) was even invented. Anyway…….let’s talk about LOVE. I love LOVE. LOVE makes the world go round. But what is LOVE?
Well, each person probably has their own definition of love….because after all, everyone has loved someone or something at some point in their lives.
(Did you know?) The Greek language has four distinct words which are translated as ‘love’ in the English language.
Storge means ‘affection’. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring; or fondness through familiarity, especially between family members or people who have otherwise found themselves together by chance.
Philia refers to friendship love. This is the strong bond existing between people who share common interest or activity. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity.
Eros is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. This can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage.
Then there is Agape, which is unconditional love. This is the love that brings forth caring regardless of circumstance. This word represents divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, deliberately intentional, and thoughtful love. Undeniably the greatest of loves.
This is the word that the Bible uses to refer to the fatherly love that God has for humans! This is the Greek word for love that is used in John3:16 “For God SO LOVED the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (emphasis mine).
Now, this might not sink in for some people because a lot of people read the Bible and see a God who is a control freak, with an A-Z list of do’s and don’ts, or they see an angry God who is just waiting for us to do one wrong thing so He can zap us with a lightning bolt; but I read the Bible and discover a Father who is head over heels in love with the people He created, a God who relentlessly pursues us regardless of whether we want Him or not, a God who knows our ins and outs and yet calls each and every one of us precious, beautiful and worth dying for, a gentle God who is always tenderly knocking on our doors and waiting for us to open the doors of our hearts so He can pour out His love on us, a Father whose desire just to pick us up and embrace us is the ache of His heart. If we were to discover this GOD OF LOVE, we would look at life and everything in it differently.
If you can sum up our existence in one word, that word would be LOVE.
God created everything out of love.
He provided us with everything we need because He loves us.
Even when the first humans sinned, His response was to cover them….because of His love.
He even made the ultimate sacrifice, sacrificed a part of Himself to see us reunited with Him….to redeem our love relationship.
If you look closely, you’ll find that the entire Bible is actually a love story of how God continues to pursue humans throughout the ages. He is LOVE. Everything He does is out of LOVE. For LOVE. By LOVE. Through LOVE. LOVE…LOVE…LOVE.
And the love doesn’t just stop there with God. Because we are created in His image, we are MADE TO LOVE. To love Him, and to love one another. When the Phariseess asked Jesus about which was the greatest commandment, He said that the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbour as you love yourself (Matthew22:36-39).
What about all the other commandments, you ask. Well, if you take a look at all the commandments, they are all rooted in LOVE.
If you love God…….you will not have any other god.
If you love God……you will not worship any idol.
If you love your mother and father…..you will honour them.
If you love your spouse…..you will not commit adultery.
If you love your neighbour….you will not bear false witness against them.
If you love someone….you will not murder them…(duh!)
…and so it goes….
So if our existence, our reason for living is to love; I dare to say that if you do anything outside of love, it is WORTHLESS. Actually, Paul says it in the chapter of 1Corinthians13. To paraphrase, he says that you could be fluent in all the languages of the earth and of angels, you could have multiple doctorates, you could win awards, you could understand all of God’s secret plans, you could give all you have to the poor, you could have faith that moves mountains, but if you don’t have love/don’t do it out of love, it all means/gains you absolutely NOTHING.
I think I’ll leave it here for now ( I do have a tendency of going on forever….:/)…..but the question I’d like to leave you with is this: What is the PRIMARY reason or MOTIVATION behind EVERYTHING you do? Is it LOVE? Is it a desire to fit in? Is it wanting to please someone/people? Is it to make money? Is it to make a name for yourself? Is it to pay back revenge or spite someone? Is it because ‘that’s just how it’s done’? Is it to preserve a certain image/status? Is it because someone else is doing it? IS IT LOVE?