Love Isn’t Love until You Give it Away
You can say you love but your actions will tell the true story. Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus boiled all the law and the prophets down into two commandments they both talked about love? The truth about love is that it must have an object. We need others. We are kidding ourselves if we think we can do better on our own. We were designed for relationship to connect with God and man.
I pastor a church in Olathe, Kansas, named Indian Creek Community Church. We wanted to make it easy for people to understand what it means to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus. We took the Great Commandments and the Great Commission and combined them into a motto that describes the lifestyle of Jesus. We love God, we love people and we live out. It isn’t linear. Each serves the other and as one grows they all grow because they are interconnected.
John, the beloved disciple, said, “You can’t say that you love God if you don’t love your brother”. That would just be a self-centered way of spirituality. Cain asked the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The obvious, but implied, answer from God was yes, and if you do not you’re your brother there are serious consequences.
As a pastor, I find that some of our congregation is more naturally wired to be vertical in their love life. They love God, but they don’t necessarily feel like their Father feels about the rest of the human family. Others prefer to love someone with skin on. They find it easier to relate to people on a horizontal level than with God. Still others love to serve. They could take or leave the worship and messages, but give them a cause that meets a human need in the name of Jesus and they believe it is worship to serve.
I’m glad we are not the same because we are richer and deeper in our diversity. But love is the one thing that is obviously non-optional. We are called by Jesus to follow his example to love God. Love people. And live out the love of Jesus.
As we grow in one, we will also grow in the others. Love isn’t love until you give it away.