© by Joyce C. Lock
Some form of the word "love" exists in scripture 543 times and is conceivably one of the most abused, excused, and misused words in modern lingo today.
love your style. I just loved that show. I love the way you fix your hair! I love ice cream. Oh, I love what you've done with this room! I love you in that dress. I love it when you make me laugh.
I LOVE YOU ... unless I get hurt ... just don't ask me to help ... only when my needs come first ... though not if it means listening to you ... barring when I can take credit ... when it's convenient ... if you love me ... as long as you do what I say ... but not your children ... unless you get in my way ... until I think of some good jokes at your expense ... except you put on a few pounds ... omitting when friends are around ... whenever it benefits me.
Let's make love. If you love me, you'll do it. Never mind that I'm sleeping with someone else, it's you I love. You're just stupid - you know I love you.
I love you, but I won't forgive you. I'm sorry for hurting you "again" but, you know I love you. I told you once that I love you, that ought to be enough. What do I have to say to make you believe me ... I (bleep, bleep) love you, alright? If I say I love you, then I love you. I can see others and still love you. When you measure up to my expectations, then I'll love you.
Some speak most eloquent words of love. Fewer show it in their lives. But, whatever they speak, actions speak even louder.
Surely, God must prefer to disassociate from situations where people misuse words that describe His character. And, wherever He isn't ... it isn't love.
It isn't possible to love until we (know God and) begin to love others as He loves us, because ... God is love and it's His Spirit that loves through us (1 John 4:8,12b-13). Anything less is counterfeit.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.