So this doesn’t quite happen to me very often but lately the thought “love” has been quite heavy and I couldn’t stop pondering on it for a Long while. Funny enough the thought started with me wondering why mum used to ask me “Inno what do you know about love”, which was generally her way of saying “boy you’re too young to know what you’re talking about” haha. As I thought that, I couldn’t help but think how right she might have been. And I’m not just basing this “love” on just relationships, but also on friends and family. What do we actually know about love?
Well for a while we’ve known that love is that feeling we get when we meet someone for the first time and simply just “click” with, otherwise known as “love at first sight”. For friendships, most love is based on that feeling shared between people who have something in common out of coincidence at the first time they meet. Let’s face it, that’s how we’ve made most friendships. But funny enough, that feeling isn’t love, it is actually what happens in the first and last stages of love. What happens between the first stage and the last stage is actually what love is about. We’re going to look in to that “middle stage” today using two bible scriptures.
So in the first stage we learn that love is actually a “commandment”. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12 NKJV).
I remember looking at this and thinking “ahh sure that’s great, this is the only commandment I have to follow instead of the other 10 in the old Testament”. But as I said that my conscience spoke to me just saying “dude, this is the type of love that put a man on the cross”, and as I heard that I started thinking about the word “Commandment”. The term itself means “divine rule”. I started recalling how people in the old testament could barely follow these rules. So when Jesus made this commandment, it was His way of saying “This Love isn’t easy, it isn’t what you think it is, its no walk in the park and one will most definitely struggle to follow this commandment correctly if I am not a part of him”. And just at that I also felt He was saying, this commandment doesn’t overrule the other commandments. For example, you can’t say you love another person yet you steal from them. You can’t say you love them by committing murder. You can’t even say you love God and yet you take His name in vain!! It is in no way easy to follow and it never has been.
2. The second stage talks about how love is sacrificing yourself for another. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
(John 15:13 NKJV). This is possibly the most key verse for me. I didn’t see it as it telling someone you would have die for them in order to ensure your love towards them, neither did I think it meant physically dying for them (jheeze imagine that!!). To me it meant something more than physical death. It meant putting your own needs aside in order to meet the needs of others. For most of us this is where we struggle. Our attitudes and ego have become the centre of our emotional universe. We have taken God’s love and have mixed it with our attitudes, and have called it sacrificial love. Really ? Tell me if you fall under this category “ I do you a favour and this is how you treat me?”, “me that is just managing you (African accent)” “how can you say you love me and yet you don’t show it to me”, “ why don’t you show me you love me first I always do”, “ if I mean something to him/her, they will talk to me first”, “let’s see how long this silence will last”. The list is endless.
Love is the thing that brings life to a friendship or marriage. And everyone knows that in order to receive eternal life you have to die from your old ways. Yet, no one is willing to die to themselves in order to preserve love. Life has now somewhat become all about “guarding your heart” out of context, or basing genuine love out of old hurts. Love doesn’t come after trust, if it did then Jesus wouldn’t have died. Someone so mighty trusted mere humans with such love in the hope that we would love Him back, through us loving the people He created. Yet I look the categories above and how I almost fit in all them, it leads me to scream and say “sorry mate who are you ? That you would be so self centred in your own ways at the risk of ‘not wanting to appear weak’, or that you would think yourself so high and mighty that what you’re better than God now ? Or that you refuse to swallow your pride and ego and would boastfully say you’re full of love? That you refuse to bend for people based on what they have done before? That you forget that commandments must be followed no matter what, even if it means loving your enemy? Just who do you think you are?
The truth is we have only covered the small scope of what love truly is. Even the bible says “God is love”, so in order to fully understand Love, we have to fully understand God, which we really can’t through just a few sentences. I don’t know what kind of love we have created or experienced, but somehow along the lines, we have perverted the word and have made it to become what it isn’t. So I guess I will leave you with the same message that kept me pondering all this long. What do you know about love ?
God bless you