Love is such an overused, misrepresented word in today’s society. It is possible we no longer even understand its meaning. In most cases of civil violence, individuals pull out signs proclaiming the need to love each other, believing that is the one element which will heal our nation.
Love is not a stand-alone solution to society’s problems. As a world, we want to believe we are in complete control of our existence. Our intellect suggests we are the captains of our destiny. In our diligence to control the end results of situations however, there is always something more powerful, which cannot be denied. That “something” is God.
God is the heart of all creation. Including mankind. God is the heart of love. The first part of John 3:16 lays that out clearly, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son” (NIV). Whether someone believes in the existence of God or not, to be open minded long enough to analyze someone freely sacrificing their son, for someone else, would by nature be characterized as an act of love. The Bible discusses love hundreds of times, which in itself does support its overwhelming importance in our life and in the way we relate to one another. 1 Corinthians 13:13 clearly states, “…the greatest of these is love” (NIV).
However, to just say “love one another”, doesn’t hold any power if our own understanding of love isn’t based in something solid. All humans crave love. Yet we were created to desire faith and hope also.
Certainly, as a society, we want to be able to place our faith in things we can see. We want the freedom to believe our government and those who have been chosen to lead and protect us will diligently seek our best interest as their primary goal. It is our desire to move freely throughout life, in an almost surreal state of mind, convinced we are shielded from all evil. Yet when the truth is revealed, our faith is shattered. We come face to face with the reality that mankind has a limit to what it can do. At this point our faith is shattered. We lose hope in everything in which we had placed our confidence.
When life reveals itself as fallible, if we haven’t put our faith in God and our hope in Him, we don’t know how to react or where to turn. The realization of having placed our anchor of faith and hope, into a foundation with little or no stability, causes chaos. In that chaos we know no other reaction but to begin hurling blame, insults and other destructive behaviors toward one another. With this reaction, we only reap a harvest of turmoil resulting in death and destruction. As Abraham Lincoln predicted “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroy ourselves.”
As a nation we must find a common ground in which to place our anchors. When our anchors are secured in the truth that is God, THEN love can be a vigorous catalyst to resolve so many of our nation’s problems. When we are mutually anchored, we are better able to act out the healing elements of love. “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”. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
It is hard to love, if a person hasn’t ever experienced real love – God’s love. By placing our faith and hope in God and experiencing His love for us, we will understand what loving one another really is and how to live it out in our communities.