The Problem with Love Today
To the Called Out Ones of Jesus Christ (and to those who seek a better
way of living),
Besides the obvious overuse of the word love – we “love” ice cream,
the Seahawks and our dog or cat, etc. – which has diluted its meaning;
have you noticed or experienced a further and more profound problem
with love as it is understood and “practiced” today?
Speaking in terms of human relationships, my observation is that love
is based on feelings. It is thought today that if we don’t “feel”
something toward the other person(s), then we think it’s not love /
that we’re not “in love.”
Then there’s that – we think we should be “in love.” What does that mean?
It usually means that we are “head over heels” or infatuated over
someone – that we’re enjoying the euphoric feelings of that magical
attraction phase of a relationship. But is that love?
Most of us know that it is not. But have we given thought to just how
far we’ve come from a biblical, Christ-centered view of love? Have we
considered the implications for us as individuals, the family, the
church and society as a whole of this shift?
The loss of this “knowledge” and the ability to live it out has been
extremely costly and is allowing the world to slide into a deepening
darkness of human relations and the accompanying ills in society.
According to the Bible and the example of Jesus,
LOVE IS A CHOICE FOLLOWED BY ACTION OF A CERTAIN QUALITY AND PURPOSE
Love is a decision –
A decision to care for someone – to look out for their good,
regardless of the cost to oneself or the reciprocation of action or
A decision to take an action – regardless of the cost to oneself or
the reciprocation of action or feelings – on behalf of and for the
good of another / others.
But we, as culture, have a problem with this. We don’t like the idea
of, let alone have the ability to, love someone when we don’t feel
like it. Nor do we like the idea of someone loving us when they don’t
feel like it.
Think about it, what if someone you love and who you want to love you
back is only “choosing” to make decisions to do the right thing and
act kindly and do good to you – without necessarily “feeling like” it
– are they “loving you” or do you think something is missing? Like
many other things, I’d suggest that we are addicted to the feelings of
“love.” And, like any other addiction, we have to have more and more
of it to satisfy ourselves. Thus we are constantly looking for “love”
and, “in all the wrong places,” as the song says, which, in turn,
produces dissatisfaction, promiscuity, divorce, and / or adultery. (We
have only to look at the proliferation and exploding use of
pornography to confirm this.)
By contrast, the Bible (God) says, to choose to “do good” or do the
right thing – even or especially at a cost to you is the greater act
Jesus said this explicitly when He said, “greater love has no man than
this that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Do you think it would “feel” like “love” to lay down your life for
your friends? I doubt it.
Think of the thousands of young men who gave their lives on the
beaches of Normandy on D-day. Do you think they felt a lot of
luvvy-dovvy feelings that day? I doubt it.
And, of course, Jesus was the most profound example of this – enduring
one of the most painful and shameful forms of death – in the greatest
act of love the world has ever seen. But if we were to ask Him if He
“felt like” doing it, I’m sure He would have said “no,” as indicated
by the account of the night before He died that He spent in the
Gethsemane (Matthew 26)
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and
he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and
prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.
Yet not as I will, but as you will.”… He went away a second time and
prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken
away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Jesus did not “feel like” doing this. I think we could even say that,
in that moment, He did not “want” to do it. But He did it anyway. Why?
Out of love – for us.
1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
Jesus also told us that He did it out of obedience (another foreign
idea to us today):
30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is
coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may
learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has
Paul confirms this and points to this as an example for all of us.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as
Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider
equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather,
he made himself nothingby taking the very nature of a servant, being
made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he
humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a
cross!” Philippians 2
Love – Sacrificial love based on obedience and /or the care and
concern for the greater good or the good for the other – is the most
powerful force on earth. But, conversely, “love” as self-focused
feelings, which is not love, only weakens those “loving” and those
being “loved.” And, it will never change the world for good. Sadly, we
have lost the understanding of and the capacity for sacrificial love.
As humans, but, especially as Christians, we must regain this
“knowledge” of sacrificial love and the ability to live it out. We
will never change the world without it. This is the charge and
commission of all those who claim to follow Christ as reflected in His
life and teachings, and these passages written by those chosen by Him
to carry on His work:
1 John 3
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be
called children of God! And that is what we are! …. 16 This is how we
know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we
ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus
Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
2 Corinthians 5
13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are
in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us,
because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all
died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer
live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised
So, do you want to change the world, your world? Do you want to see
your marriage improve? Do you want a better relationship with your
kids? Do you want a safer and friendlier world for your kids and
grandkids to grow up in?
Then we need to regain and practice this core teaching and value of
Christ our Lord, and reject the values and trends of the world around
us. We have the “light” and are the light if we live by the light we
have. (see 1 John 2) And, it’s time for us to let our lights shine.
Otherwise, the world will continue to slip into deep darkness.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
For the sake of the world and the glory of God,
Saturdays At Centro De Fe – 8:30am
We are moving to Centro De Fe to meet every Saturday, 1705 W Chestnut Avenue, 98902 from 8:30 – 10:00am.
Please call or text Dennis Crane, 509.910.7772, if you have any questions.
Please invite others to come that share their desire for Transformation in the Yakima Valley.