Following up on yesterday’s blog theme of Thanksgiving. Another great gift from God for which we should be thankful is meaningful love. Especially when we consider the confused self-defeating meaningless love that is popularized in the media today. J udging by most movies and TV characterizations love has become just a synonym for pleasure. But pleasure is fleeting and love is permanent. Meaningful love is permanent, self-sacrificing and active.
Stephen Moore, in his poem entitled “The Second Mile,” states it this way:
Stern Duty said, “Go walk a mile
And help thy brother bear his load.
I walked reluctant, but meanwhile,
My heart grew soft with help bestowed.
Then Love said, “Go another mile.”
I went, and Duty spoke no more,
But Love arose and with a smile
Took all the burden that I bore.
‘Tis ever thus when Duty calls;
If we spring quickly to obey,
Love comes, and whatsoever befalls,
We’re glad to help another day.
The second mile we walk with joy;
Heaven’s peace goes with us on the road,
So let us all our powers employ
To help our brother bear life’s load.”
Paul says it best in GAL. 5:6 “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Jesus is the ultimate expression of love because he is the ultimate expression of self-sacrifice.
In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote,
“Do not waste your time bothering whether you `love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.”
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” That really says it all. Love is not just sentiment, it is action. Love is not just loving those like us or those we like, it is also loving those who are unlike us and even those that disgust us. Love is faith expressing itself in acts of love. Meaningful love, though often pleasurable, is not for our pleasure but is a way of actively expressing our faith. Actively expressing our faith by being loving and unselfish has a wonderful by product: happiness. That’s right happiness is a by-product of loving actively and unselfishly.
In a world where love means less and less we should be very thankful that Jesus showed us meaningful love.