In search of...love
When you think of love, what comes to your mind? A person? A character trait? A favorite place or thing? When you define love, what words would you use? The Greeks had several words for what today we lump into one word - love. They broke it down into Eros, Phileo, Agape. Eros denotes something sexual, erotic. Phileo could be translated "a strong feeling of affection" or "brotherly love" which is in the meaning of the city Philadelphia. And Agape gives us that highest goal of unconditional, no matter what, forever love.
In English, unfortunately, we throw the word love around to mean just about anything. We love a sports team. We love this music band. We love French fries. We love summer or spring and fall but hate winter. We love blue but hate green. We love chocolate. We love certain celebrities. We hate politics. The list is endless. But the emotions we claim to have for these things don't quite fit if we compare true love in all of its meanings.
A parent loves his child far more than a sports team. Are they really the same word or carry the same emotion? A wife loves her husband but would she really equate him with chocolate? (Don't answer that.) :)
Still, all kidding aside, do we really understand the love that we long for deep in the center of our being? For if we are honest, we don't really find lasting fulfillment in those things we claim to love.
Every one of us is born with a longing for more, for someone to care. For someone, somewhere to take us into their arms and say, "I will never leave you or forsake you. I will always be patient and kind with you, and will always think the best of you. I will always stand my ground in defending you. Where others may fail, I will not. I would die so you could live and even then I would never stop loving you. I want to be with you always."
Who could turn down a love like that?
Yet I look around our world today and I see the exact opposite of this. Oh, there are individual people who are kind, heroes even. There are groups who go to help the poor and feed the hungry.
But then there are also those who are filled with so much anger. People kill people in public places for no apparent reason at all. People kill themselves and others because of end-times ideologies. We are appalled at countries shutting out refugees, but the same thing happened during WWII. Yet we do not learn from history.
We shudder at Planned Parenthood videos and the callous selling of aborted baby parts, but this has been going on for years. It was just never publicized. And while the reasons are different, the sacrifice of infants on the altars of scientific research is really not all that different than ancient infant sacrifice on the altars of Molech or Chemosh to appease the demons behind those gods. And the mothers of those infants, as well as the infants themselves, are the victims of so much greed.
Reminds me of a snake in a garden...
The Apostle Paul prophesied about times like now.
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..." 2 Timothy 3:1-4
Notice what people will love: themselves, money, pleasure.
And what they will not love: good, they will be without love, and they won't love God.
Yet I go back to the kind of love we crave.
For someone, somewhere to take us into their arms and say, "I will never leave you or forsake you. I will always be patient and kind with you, and will always think the best of you. I will always stand my ground in defending you. Where others may fail, I will not. I would die so you could live and even then I would never stop loving you. I want to be with you always."
Someone already promised to love each and every one of us just like this if we will let Him.
His name is Jesus.