What Love Is
In honor of Valentine’s Day I thought I’d share some thoughts about love.
God is Love.
I’m currently reading The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. In the introduction I came upon this quote:
St John’s saying that God is love has long been balanced in my mind against the remark of a modern author (M. Denis de Rougemont) that ‘love ceases to be a demon only when he ceases to be a god’; which of course can be re-stated in the form ‘begins to be a demon the moment he begins to be a god’. This balance seems to me an indispensable safeguard. If we ignore it the truth that God is love may slyly come to mean for us the converse, that love is God.
Okay. It takes me a lot of concentration and re-reading to understand Lewis, but it’s the last line that caught my eye — “God is love may slyly come to mean for us the converse, that love is God.”
Can we simply simmer on the phrase GOD IS LOVE without converting it to if we love then we are like God? I think that is what Lewis is implying here. We don’t pause to feel the meaning of the phrase and instantly turn it around to our actions. “What am I going to do to be like God? To love others?” Yes, this is an important question because we are God’s hands, we do show God our love by showing others His love, we are commanded to love one another. These are truths. However, let’s just stop at God Is Love and enjoy the meaning of those words.
In preparation for another presentation, I stumbled upon this quote:
We are not commanded to love one another to earn or become worthy of God’s love. We love one another because we are loved by God, and have received that love, and live in light of it (David Guzik).”
This hits on something I think is a human condition — the believe that we need to earn the love of another. Among humans, that is probably the case! But with God, there is no earning of his love. There is no need to become worthy of his love. Because God is Love, we already have His love. We strengthen our relationship (therefore, our love) with God by the actions we do in that love, but His love is already something we have. God dwells in us!
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwellers in love dwellers in God, and God in him (1 John 4:16).”
Oh, I fear I’m not portraying the message I’m feeling as adequately as I’d like! For me, the phrase GOD IS LOVE is not about me, but Him. He is my Redeemer. He is love. He loves me (okay, maybe that’s making it about me). ;-) He is in our hearts. He is all-loving. He is forgiveness, righteousness, omnipotent, and faithful. His every action is motivated in love. It’s not about me. It’s about HIM! It is mine to believe (as John says) and to know such love. Only as I embrace that love can I show such love.
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All the hopes that sweetly start
From the fountain of the heart,
All the bliss that ever comes
To our earthly human homes
All the voices from above
Sweetly whisper: God is love.
* Above Image from: https://justbetweenus.org/topics/understanding-gods-love/