Real contentment has nothing to do with either prosperity or poverty. Contentment is an inside job, the result of knowing God and living life against the backdrop of eternity.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What is LOVE?

Recently, a best friend emailed me at some absurd hour of the night and in the message box read:

What is love?


I thought she was joking or tired or referencing a song from 1997 we had both just remembered in a conversation prior to 1am.

Nope. I answer the question in my complete honesty and then I produce a thought provoking question in return for her in a mere attempt to learn something from one another. Mind you, we have been friends for 12 years now. I like it.

My first thoughts came from lyrics, naturally. Music speaks to my soul and I find a lot of truth and comfort in song. I typed in 'love' to my itunes library. 140 titles/artists returned. Wowzas. Just to name a few: All you need is love, One love, Skinny love, Let your love flow, Crown of love, Your love is extravagant, Amazing love, How He loves us, Love your love the most, Somebody to love, Your love is my drug, Bleeding love and the list goes on and on.

This got me thinking about the many different types of love that people perceive and experience. Donald Miller recently cited that love is not an emotion but a need. He writes, "A scan of a persons brain who is experiencing the mystery of love looks surprisingly like a scan of a persons brain who is experiencing a cocaine rush." Interesting.

Ms. Kelly kisses every single one of her sweaty 1st graders as they exit the classroom because she wants them to know that she loves them despite the temper tantrum that happened during recess. My parents sent huge boxes of supplies and goodies to Roatan to show me that they love me and support me in all of my endeavors. We tutor the French Harbour boys in the afternoon because we love God and want to share God's love with his children. The love list is endless.

The only logical thing that I believe love boils down to is that God loved us so much that he sent his only perfect Son to earth, to endure the pain and suffering of man, reveal the glory of His majesty and then be brutally sacrificed for our transgressions on the cross. God is love. Jesus is love. I can only give love because I have received love and forgiveness from my heavenly father.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Love keeps no records of wrong. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Love your enemies. Luke 6:35
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Above all, love each other deeply. 1 Peter 4:8

I would dare to say that we are all on a constant search for love. We "love" our cities, our jobs, our pets, our gym classes, our favorite bands, our addictions, our boyfriends and girlfriends. The word gets thrown around like a rag doll.

I think this quote sums up what I believe about love.

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. Because in the end, love wins. Love always wins." -Tuesdays with Morrie

1 comment:

  1. Hey Jessica! What's up? I've checked in on your blog from time to time, and after you followed me on Twitter, I found myself back here reading this post.

    I agree with you that Love is thrown around waaaaay to liberally. Because of this, I think the true meaning of love has been completely lost. We love our jeans. We love our favorite dish at our favorite restaurant. We love sleeping in....and the list goes on and on.

    I've learned that love is a commitment. A commitment stands the test of time. Love is a choice. That's why it's possible for us to "love our neighbor as ourself" and "love each other deeply." We choose to love.

    So many people think it's a feeling, but feelings change with our circumstances. Feelings are contingent upon how we're treated. If someone pushes me around, and love is based on my feelings, I'm not going to love that person. However, if I've chosen to love my neighbor, and I'm commited to loving them the way God loves me, it doesn't matter what they do to me, I still love them.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post. Where are you headed after you finish the school year up?