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Friday, March 21, 2014

On Reorganizing our Concept of Love

The following is excerpted from a sermon I enjoyed last night (I did, in fact, warn the preacher that he was likely to be transcribed):
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
“God is love,” says the Bible.

We must be careful that we don’t make of that something sentimental or insincere. God is love, but in our society today, many people believe love is god.

And there’s a difference.

If I were putting on my English teacher hat, I might say, “In this sentence, the word ‘God’ is the subject of the sentence, and ‘love’ is a quality being predicated of him.

‘Love’ is not the subject, and ‘God’ is not some sort of secondary feature attributed to the quality of love.

I say that because there are many people who, in a well-intended but sentimental way, think that when they feel love for something — for a person or situation, when their feelings are stirred within them, when they become emotional — that because it’s love, that in itself must cleanse every motive and make whatever is being loved good.

The Bible doesn’t say that. The Bible says a lot about love, but some of it is about human love. And what it says about human love should remind us that just because we love something doesn’t mean that’s a good thing. Doesn’t John himself say that men “loved the darkness rather than the light”? There are others that loved “the wages of unrighteousness”.

We can love a great many things, but not everything that we aim our love at is something that we ought to love.

If we want to love rightly, what we have to realize is that God is love, and whatever conception we have of love must come not from ourselves, but from our knowledge of him. To truly love is to love what God loves and to love it as God loves it.

Human love must always be judged by divine love.

Our concept of love needs to be reorganized so that we love the right kinds of things.

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