Tuesday, July 26, 2011

God is Love, But Love is an Action

What is love? I remember a teacher in grade school asking that question. I remember it appearing to be something that wasn’t very clear and I can’t say that it’s much clearer now. Some people say love is a feeling. Some people say that love is sexual desire. There are many things that people say love is. The Bible says that God is love. But it also shows love to be an action. We are commanded, for example, to love our neighbor as ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we always have to like our neighbor as much as we like ourselves. What it does mean is that we are to do those things that will benefit our neighbor. The Bible tells husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church. In other words, husbands ought to be willing to die to save their wives. That’s not just when a husband feels loving toward his wife, that’s something he’s supposed to be willing to do, no matter what. Most husbands fail in that regard, but that’s the example Christ gave.

I’ve kind of been trying to wrap my mind around the two concepts that God is love and that love is our loving actions. Since both are true, what does that mean? I don’t think it is so simple as to say that God = Love and Love = Our Action, therefore God = Our Action. The problem with that is that our actions are flawed, whereas God is not. But love is of God and love comes from God. Any action that we do that is truly in love is only possible because God is working through us. No act of love can be done apart from God. Since that is the case, it begins to make sense that God = Love = Our Action. But a better way to state it might be that God = Love = Our Action + God’s Action. Our inaction doesn’t prevent God from performing some act of love, but God is able to use us to show his love toward people. We become God’s hands and voice to a hurting world. When we give to help others, it is God’s way of helping them. When we encourage others, it is God’s way of encouraging them.