Love’s impossibility … is there such a thing? We all know the saying, Love conquers all. But is that true? And there couldn’t be a better day than Valentine’s Day to pose these questions!
How do we know what love is? If we know that, we will understand what love cannot do. But our best answers won’t come from culture or Valentine’s Day. Part of our issue is language. Notice:
- I love my wife.
- I love hot dogs.
- I love summer.
- I love my house.
Which of those is really love? Now, add the activities and/or notions associated with February 14. Confusion reigns. But it can get worse. What about those who don’t have – by forgetfulness or a lack of training – critical thinking skills? For all of us, it’s a good thing there are objective answers to defining love! I’ll simply direct you to read through I Corinthians 13 for yourself.
I have reached the place where I understand the simplest things are often the most profound. We have deep truths in simple, three-word statements. We teach them to our toddlers:
God is love – I John 4:8, I John 4:16
God is good – Psalm 34:8, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 119:68, James 1:17
Those foundational truths fade in our memories. And that is to our own peril. Think back on your biggest spiritual blunders, those times you gave in to temptation. Doubting one or both of those three-word truths was probably where it started!
Since God is love, He is our only reliable case study. He loves and He does it perfectly. So, what does that look like?
Jesus answered that question with a parable. And many teachers and preachers have used His parable and failed to connect it to the reason Jesus gave it! You know about the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-37. Jesus’ purpose in the parable was to show us what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves. In it, we see love’s impossibility.
Let me give you two more examples you can read in the links (just let your mouse hover over the reference).
- John 3:16
- Romans 5:8
Did you see it? Just for good measure – and to totally blow your mind – take a look at Ephesians 3:17-19. After reading that, it would certainly seem that love has no impossibilities.
Let me unpack the mystery. Culture tells you love is a fleeting feeling. Do we feel it? Of course. But if you look closely at the Good Samaritan, John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 you will see that love is a verb. In every case, because love existed, action was taken. And if we are following God’s example of love, remember that He chose to love us. Love is a choice that takes action. The feelings will follow.
Adding to that, John tells us not to love with words only but to love in deeds – I John 3:18. And Paul reminded the Ephesians to be imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5:1) then immediately (Ephesians 5:2) told them to:
Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Thank You And The Solution
We have a mission team headed to Belize in March. We need your prayers. Yesterday, I thanked them for loving and promised I’d explain that statement today. This little riddle about Love’s Impossibility is keeping that promise.
Serving in God’s Kingdom – whatever that may be – should be an act of love. Our motives matter – see I Corinthians 13 again! And in light of what I’ve shared, our ministry is one of love. How? Because believers are acting like their Father when they give their
And that is the thing love cannot do – hold itself back. Love will always sacrifice for its object. Notice:
God so loved the world that He gave…(emphasis mine)
Let me say it another way:
We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving.
That is love’s impossibility. I dare you to ponder that for a while.
And, THANK YOU! I am so blessed to work with, and be surrounded by, so many people who love as their Father loves! That’s just one reason there is fun and joy in Equipping For Life.
Soli Deo Gloria!
PS – About the cover photo… You’ve looked into the night sky. God took action and loved you through that scene. Don’t think so? Read Psalm 8 and Psalm 19.