(Part 1 of 2) written on Monday morning…
Wow. What a great weekend. Winter Breakaway went down in my history books as one of the greatest trips we’ve done yet. It wasn’t seamless (thanks to a trip to the ER following an epic sledding crash, a foot of fresh snow on Sunday morning, and keys being locked in a car while running…haha) but God was all over this weekend. God showed up.
Today I am home recouping from all our events and God has been flooding my mind with a number of things. There is one thing in particular that I feel lead to write about. Though I know only a few will read this…it’s important enough for me to spend some time on. All weekend we spent time RE:defining Love. I hope you all walked away from the experience knowing God a little bit more…and in turn knowing more about yourself too.
Your life is a story…: Our life is a story. From beginning to end we are telling one story. Though there are many parts of our story (sports, school, friends, family, etc) at the end of our life it’s our story/legacy that’s usually recapped. As followers of Jesus we looked at Ephesians 1:3-6 identifying that God started our story before the foundation of the world. He chose you! What story are you telling? Are you living His story?
…to make people around you great…: As we walk through 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, we see many characteristics of biblical love (vs. 4-7). Every piece of it either pushes us to make other people great around us or it tells us how to fight making us the center of our world. Love is self-sacrificing. Biblical love focuses the decisions we make on making people around us great.
…ultimately to make God great.: But making people great is not God’s ultimate purpose. God’s ultimate purpose is to make Himself great. In reading 1 John 4:7-12 we see the summation of God’s ultimate purpose of biblical LOVE.
- Love is not something that we do or something that we turn on and off…it’s who we are. (v. 7)
- If love if not your lifestyle then you don’t really know God. (v.8)
- God displayed biblical love in sacrificing His Son on our behalf. We were once separated eternally from God, children of wrath, but He provided a way for us to be in His holy presence. God sacrifice of His Son makes us whole but ultimately makes His name great in this world. (v.9-10)
- Love is bigger than us. When followers of Jesus love one another, we physically show an invisible God. People see Jesus in us and in turn see God. We love to make God great. (v.11-12)
Here’s what God’s been feeding me this AM.
I stand behind and defend the definition we wrapped up on Sunday morning. In my knowledge I don’t know any biblical or logical evidence to combat what we talked about BUT as I was talking to you all on Sunday, God was putting a certain question in my mind that we didn’t have time to talk about. It has to do with the other side of the definition. Think about a wall. A wall always has a minimum of two sides, right? It’s foundation is always the same though, right?. No matter what angle to you look at that wall, weather if one side it’s pink while the other is blue…it’s still one wall, it’s foundation is the same.
Our definition, as we talked about has to be the foundation of love. At its core it’s how God created love. Our definition of Love has at least three sides. So here’s my overwhelming question: What about those other sides?
Here are the three sides as I see them:
- How do you love others (which was the core of our weekend?
- How should others love you?
- What does love look like when it goes wrong (self-centered-sinful)?
All of our time together was spent on how you should love others. What about you though? How should others love you? How does this definition play out when you’re looking for love? How does this definition play out when your parents get upset with you?
I stand by my argument that love isn’t something we do. Love isn’t something that we turn on and off. We don’t love when it’s convenient. We, as followers of Jesus, are called to a lifestyle of love.
So if my parent’s are followers of Jesus what should I expect? Should I expect that they never yell at me? Should I expect that they never get angry? Should I expect that they never loose their cool and if they do…they are sinning?
If our definition is the foundation of love then everything that pours out of us should strive to fall within that definition. Then we MUST have an answer to the above questions?
Before I give you my thoughts…let me here yours.
- Describe to me how you should love others (as we talked about at WB and above in this posting).
- How do you think others should love you? Friends? Siblings? Boyfriends/girlfriends (when you turn 18…haha)? Parents? Write down your thoughts for each one.
- What does love look like when it goes wrong?