What's Love Got To Do With It?
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
"What's love got to do with it?" asked Tina.
"Who's Tina?" asked you, if you're under a certain age. And if this applies to YOU, take a moment to ask Wikipedia who Tina is. We'll wait for you...
The answer, Tina (and anybody else who was wondering), is everything. Love has got everything to do with everything. Since the month of February shines a particular spotlight on love, I thought we'd take a closer look at what the Bible says about love.
In I John 4:7-12 & 19-21, the Bible says:
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. ... 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
And in Luke 6:32-36, the Bible says:
32 If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
In all aspects of our daily lives, we should strive to love others. "...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) God gave his only child, who was perfect and without sin, to die for our transgressions. Who, therefore are we, to decide who should and should not be loved, who should and should not be cared for.
Sometimes it feels safest and most comfortable to love only those in our inner circle. To just associate with and care for those who are similar to us. But is that really love - if we only share it with those who align with us? Greek mythology tells us of Narcissus who only had eyes for his own likeness, his own reflection in the water. His yearning to exclusively direct his affection to a carbon copy of himself did not end well for him.
If we only love those who are like us, is that really love? Or have we succumb to the plight of Narcissus.
I encourage you to look and love beyond yourself. To care for those around you, whether or not they are aligned with you in life. At Dayenu Ministries, we serve people from many different walks of life. Many of them have had experiences, or chosen paths very different than our own. But we share the same earth under our feet and the same air in our lungs. We share the commonality of being created by God and being loved by God. Who are we to decide who is deserving of our love, when God has so freely shown his love to us.
I am a Christian. I have a dear friend, of many years who is Jewish. And a neighbor, who has become a good friend, who is Muslim. Our core-selves have some fundamental differences. And undoubtedly, some very different life experiences. But we can freely enjoy each other's company. We can be friends. We can love one another.
So stretch beyond yourself and love those around you. Care for and serve those in need. Share the love that God has shared with you. "9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1:9-11)