I think we can all agree we've heard the word 'love' thrown around a little too much, in fact we've all heard that sermon or read that blog about "we use the same word love for describing our wives and cheesecake". We get it, it's overused, even that sermon might be overdone. But what I've even been feeling is that a lot of things have been done in the act of love, when really it's just tenderness at best. Something like free hugs, holding doors open, having a casual conversation with your grocery store clerk and trying to make her smile. Those are all great. They may be branches of love, but not the tree. But I certainly hope that's not our standard of love but sadly I believe that it is. I get a lot of crap for saying this (by Christians ironically), but my theology (possibly bad theology) is not only that God is love (Biblical) but love is God. I've been criticized for this idea before and it made me cower away from it (unfortunately). It's gotten me nowhere rejecting this idea, when the idea before has really gotten me to see God in a bigger way and force me to raise my standard of love to a way higher idea than just paying for the person behind you at Starbucks. I should say that I totally agree that if we think that's the height of love that God certainly is not that. I should also mention that i don't believe that love is limited to anyone, but is there for anyone to accept. I most certainly believe that sex is not love and I think it's a whole different category. I might buy flowers for my wife because I love her, but it doesn't mean every time I buy flowers for someone, I love them. Love is bigger than our thoughts, it's not limited to what we've decided that it is. I know that people from all backgrounds will say "yea, that'll show the religious folk" and people saying "yea, that'll show the homosexuals". This blog is far from a discussion on topics I don't claim to know much about. Unfortunately people might assume that I'm trying to subtly make my stance on those topics, but I'm not. You can read it that way, but I'm not. I'm discussing love, not sexuality. They are two different things. Both of which I know very little about (not false humility either, I truly don't claim to know either very well).
So back to my idea that God is love. Love is God. I feel we take God's name in vein all the time. We claim something is love when it's not. Some things are a hint of it and we settle on it. We are content with a small bit of love. It's way more than a feeling. I've heard a quote from mewithoutYou "when we swear, my love is real, we mean, i like the way you make me feel".
It's weird when you see someone living their life to truly love other people, it stands out, it draws me to it. It feels like a diamond in the rough and totally makes me truly feel like I've been settling on something far less, maybe the idea of love.
I think when you make a true statement about what Love is, you are describing God: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
God and love are synonymous. When i say that people like the idea of God/love, but they don't like giving themselves to God/love, they don't like what love/God demands of them. Because to truly live your life for love/God, you will have to make a lot of life changes. We'd rather say that we all need God/love, than actually live it out as if we really believe that. I know that's true for me.
But I like the idea of God being love. Not in a vague space cadet sort of way, but because when I feel called to follow love/God, I know that I've fallen short of that. To have an actual standard, instead of a vague idea, to work towards. When I was praying tonight I was confessing a list of crap that I've done recently that I felt are bad, but I just truly knew I wasn't loving God and people as I should. That confession was less guilt-ridden and more goal driven. It made me realize that I'm excited about the idea of truly loving people and God again.
I've said before that if God is love, and we love God. It's like saying "I love love". If you truly love God/love, you'll love people.
“To love another person is to see the face of God” -Les Misérables
I hope that made sense.