…A Brief Commentary Presents Its Self

Love.  A sonorous word upon first encounter.  Resounding, reverberant and thoroughly overwhelming.  So very many people have tried to describe this feeling, this…  the dictionary doesn’t quite know what to do with it.  It claims love to be both noun and verb, a thing like a twig or a stone and at the same time an action, a demonstration, an effort.  I can’t bring myself to believe that love is something that can be picked up and stored, or thrown away and forgotten: it’s powerful.  It’s packed with potential. Love is too vast to be pocketed like an object. It’s so transparent, yet so heavy.  It lingers when all else fades.  It motivates, propels, inspires, and has the ability to drive one to extremes.  It would seem that love could be a dangerous thing, but not just a thing. It’s a result, a conclusion, a culmination.  Love is huge and mighty yes, but it’s also quiet, discreet, gentle, delicate. It’s whispered in secret and met in humility.

Love.  So very many things come to mind along with that ample word, but foremost in my mind is God: love’s own instigator. God’s love is literally divine.  It’s flawless.  Because God is love.

Think about this: I can try to define love as much as I want -and that was originally what I set out to do- until I realized: Love without God is fake.  Marred.  It is simply us creating a counterfeit of God’s original.

I set out to try to define love. To seize it and contain it so that I could march around it and interrogate it at my leisure.  But I was chasing after the wrong love.  That distorted specimen would yield only twisted results and in the end become useless. True Love cannot be contained.

1 John 4:7-19 says:  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.  By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.  We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.   By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.


7 thoughts on “…A Brief Commentary Presents Its Self

  1. If all of your writings are of this caliber, I would bet my sak-a-ja-wee-ah dollar I got tipped last Thursday that you get into your school.

  2. Excellent writing, as always…


    …but I’m afraid that I may have to disagree with you on this point:

    “…until I realized: Love without God is fake. Marred. It is simply us creating a counterfeit of God’s original. “

    Here I shall have to quote the great Dr. Francis Schaeffer, in his work Escape From Reason:

    “The fact that man has fallen does not mean that he has ceased to bear God’s image. He has not ceased to be man because he is fallen. He can love, though he is fallen. It would be a mistake to say that only a Christian can love. Moreover, a non-Christian painter can still paint beauty. And it is because they can still do these things that they manifest that they are God’s image-bearers or, to put it another way, they assert their unique “mannishness” as men…”

    To sum up, when we fallen sinful humans try to love, even apart from Jesus, it is not a counterfeit or a fake. It is proof that even in our degraded, depraved state, we still retain a tiny shred of the Divine love that called us into being.

    1. Lewis, in Surprised by Joy, says,
      “Plato was right after all. Eros, turned upside down, blackened, distorted, and filthy, still bore the traces of his divinity.”

      In a larger context, I believe his point was that all love bears the mark of the God who is love.

      I agree with Meredith, in that those who haven’t directly known the love of God have only a shadow of the real thing. I don’t doubt that many have the best love that they could apart from a relationship with Him. But when they are separated from the true Source, they receive only a watered-down, shaded version of the beautiful love they could have.

      I’m learning a lot about love this week.

  3. Great Scott! these Joneses are worded! Way I see it all things in league with God last for a long long time. They also love and exalt Him. Things that love themselves or other junk without God die. Not to say that their fleeting love and passion seems glorious for a brief spell. But it dies, and it seems to irk the old fellow too. Therefore, I agree with Meredith that the love without God is a counterfeit. I think love distant from God is kind of stolen.

    This blog stuff is fun, someone make sure to prove me wrong so I can participate some more.

  4. I see what you’re getting at Em.

    I’m not saying non-Christians can’t love. In fact, I know some non-Christians who seem more loving than some Christians. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think one can fully comprehend love until they’ve encountered God and His perfect love: what our love was made in the image of.

    Oh, and by the way, C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves, great book on love. Definitely a complicated subject.

  5. Emily,

    I don’t think non-Christians can’t love, but most of what passes as love nowadays is nothing more than wanting to be loved. In that sense, all love without God is marred, because people who don’t know God have nothing but themselves to live for. The mere fact that we want it, though, tells me that there’s something there that we consider an ideal. There’s still an image of the truth. Non-Christians can certainly be aware of this ideal — and in some instances appear to have a better understanding of it than Christians — but they can’t live it out because it requires you to get past yourself.

    That said, I would agree with you that love without God is perhaps a bit more than just a fake. It’s the right thing all right, and the image we bear is there, but gone after in a perverted way. Without God we cannot have the slightest idea of how to pursue it correctly.

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