Surprised by Love – what does love mean?

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Love is a word often used for many things and thereby it looses it’s true meaning. Drowning in the casual talk of today or the slang of yesterday. What does the word really mean?

One dictionary defines “love” as the intense feeling of deep affection, which perfectly describes that warm fuzzy feeling we get when we fall in love or are with a cute baby etc. In other words, it’s an emotional kind of love. But it’s conditional. If the one we fall in love with isn’t in love with us we fall apart. It’s controlled by our emotions. This love depends on our feelings towards someone or something. What other kinds of love can there be?

According to the Bible, love is caring in action. Love isn’t what we feel, but what we do. I need to type that again “love isn’t what we feel, but what we do”… Biblical love does not depend on our feelings. That love is not driven by our emotions, but by the Holy Spirit within. It’s unconditional. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible most certainly talks about the fuzzy love too and fuzzy love isn’t bad. In fact it’s a huge Blessing from God when we can snuggle up with a spouse and our kids and hug tightly. But when it makes us fall apart, it’s not so pretty anymore.

In my last entry I talked about God telling me to love myself because that is a part of the Greatest Commandment. He didn’t mean the fuzzy love, shopping spree or curl up on the sofa. He meant the love in action. The love that takes care of myself. Eat right, sleep right, exercise , but most certainly also to keep myself emotionally and spiritually healthy!

I once got the news that my daughter could have some hearing loss on her left ear. It was a school screening test that brought it into the light and at first I got a bit shaken, but I reminded myself who I am – a beloved child of God. I was pretty calm about it and tried to refrain from thinking too much about the trouble we could encounter with such a hearing loss in the future.  At that point I was surprised by love. His unconditional love. The kind of love that my family and I will feel no matter what we may go through, because it comes from God and God is Love. Thankfully, a few weeks later it turned out that my girls hearing was just fine.

I need to remind myself that loving myself means to take care of myself. Don’t beat myself down when I don’t meet God’s standards. I never could anyway. I have to stop my emotions from running wild. Those emotions are raw and untamed and satan feeds on them. He has been having a field trip on me the past years.

But Lord – you are right: Taking care of myself, to love myself, is to remind myself who I am – in You! – and that’s the loving truth from a God who loves me unconditionally.

 

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