Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Living Love

god is love. this sentence is so profound and full of meaning that i think it is often over looked.

Googling the word love gives you varying definitions, examples from different cultures and religious groups centered around concepts of love. like, selfless love of humanity (mahayana buddhism,) or the beautiful concept of Sufism, where love is a projection of the essence of God to the universe.

i often separate myself from religion because i think that religion places god in a box and constrains our thoughts relating to god specifically to the wrapping of that particular box. so that your ideas of god and the practice of relgion is sometimes bound to whatever religion and text you hold to be true.

but that sentence, god is love, i think removes god from that box. so that if you worship god, regardless of the box you uphold, your life..your attitude, character and behavior..should be a reflection of love. as god is love.

in 1 John 4:8, he says that "whoever does not love does not know god, because god is love (new international version).

often times, we think of love as just based on affection between two people, a romantic and passionate concept of love. sometimes we have to be reminded that "love exists outside of the affection between two people" (a quote from me).
when pastors talk about this topic in church they often mention that greek has like five different words for love (agape, eros, philia, storge and xenia). c.s. lewis, the christian author (chronicles of narnia, etc.) wrote a book about four of them called the four loves. how many people do you know who know what those words mean?

about a month or so ago, i went on a first date with a guy and the topic of homosexuals came up. he was very uncharitable and he was very comfortable being that way because of his religious box.

i often see people with bumper stickers and bracelets and necklaces with WWJD on it (what would jesus do). a very nice concept. but sometimes if you get those same people talking about a hot button topic (homosexuality, abortion, sometimes even welfare moms, etc.) and you might witness an example of what jesus would not do.

sometimes i wonder, if jesus were alive today would he attend church...
how would he behave with the those people who live differently than we do. the ones who believe differently then we do. what about the atheist or the lesbian female with her same sex spouse, raising kids...

in the bible there is something known as the "great commandment". matthew 22: 37-40 where jesus says "love the lord your god with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. this is the first and greatest commandment. and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself. all the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments."

he says that those two commandments sum it up..love god with everything you've got and love your neighbor just like you love yourself.

later on, a proponent of religious boxes approaches jesus and says that according to the law, even this great commandemnt, i should be straight..and get to heaven..but can you tell me specifically who is my neighbor?
jesus's answer to him is the parable of the good samaritan. the samaritans (themselves jews) and the other jews couldn't stand each other. each thought they were the chosen and each thought the other had veered off the path.

when reading the parable, substitute samaritan with whoever it is you revile (or think is going to hell, or think you are better than)

"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

the samaritan in the story knew that god is love. the samaritan came out of his box ('cause another samaritan might not have..they had reasons to not like the other jews just like the other jewish folks had reasons to not like them..and they could all quote whatever book/law to justify it)

at dang near every wedding you go to, you may come across a reading or quote on a program of 1 Corinthians 13.

specifically it says love is patient, kind. does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (some reads love never fails)

that's a pretty good definition.

i'm trying to keep this at the forefront of my mind..and heart..god is love, go and do likewise


  1. you preachin' you preachin'!!!! nothing frustrates me more than an hypocritical/self-righteous/hateful "christian”. I'm certain Jesus is very disappointed at the way the church / people of God have chosen to interpret love or even the actions that have been done in his name. I often ask myself where is the love... Didn't Jesus say that which you've done unto the least of these you've done unto me (or maybe I'm the only person that's read that passage). I must admit I'm working on perfecting my efforts of love in the relationship arena & the closer I feel to god the easier it gets... There are times I wish the god of the old testament would strike the hate filled hypocrites down but
    I realize that thought makes me no better than them &
    I have to do some serious meditating... People have destroyed the basic principles of religion (at least christianity) by claiming to love a god whom they've never seen while hating the brother they see (1john 4:20)...

  2. I kind of sorta went here on my Facebook status 2day. Our (human) love is conditional. We love based on feelings and emotions that can change from one moment to the next. That is evidenced by the alarmingly high divorce rate in 2day's society! Couples stop loving each other bcuz they say they have "fallen out of love". They may go through a rough patch in their marriage, and they no longer "feel" love for their mate, so they call it quits. Does marriage vows of till death do us part mean we can part at the death of our love for our spouses rather than at their physical death? It does in 2day's society. Not the way those vows were meant to be interpreted, but it happens. God is Love, and His love is very different from human love. God's love is unconditional, and it's not based on feelings or emotions. He doesn't love us because we're lovable or because we make Him feel good; He loves us because He is love. He created us to have a loving relationship with Him, and He sacrificed His own Son (who also willingly died for us) to restore that severed relationship. I didn't mean to ramble on ur Blog. Once the thoughts came they wouldn't stop! LOL Good stuff as usual Peachy Pie!

  3. Wow...this was a great blog.
    I believe love is an action. It's through what you do on how you show love. It's an action.

    You gave me great food of thought for the week Peaches. Keep writing.


  4. i think you have way too much time on your hands over in the big d. i wish you were here so you could type or file for me, although you are correct on the point that Jesus probably wouldn't even attend most of the churches of today.

  5. God is love, but on the flip side God hates sin. We are to love one another, confess our faults, lift our brother(s)up in prayer and so on. A lot of Christians do confuse hating certain people as opposed to hating the sin(s) certain people commit.

    I often hear people talk about, and am guilty of talking about "so called Christians, and self-righteous Christians." As a practicing Christian myself, I am often judged as well. Sometimes I wonder if people ever look at this debate from the practicing Christian perspective. We are still human with very many flaws. We fall short, but we are to repent and it's not to be taken lightly. Also, every Christian is at a differnt place / walk in their life.

    I get provoked and tested all of the time, and I do believe some folks want to see "how Christian I am." The devil is busy. And sometimes, I do surely fail!!! But, at the end of the day I know that God is love and His mercies endure forever.

    I don't believe that I put God in a box however, I do believe there are certain environments and situations that I cannot entertain. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

    Jesus never did attend a certain church. He came to teach us how to live, and he's coming back for his people. Amen!! :o)

  6. This blog made me think of one of gandhi's writing about atheists.
    He believed that atheists find solitude in facts, the truth, and since god is truth, they really do believe in god they just don't know it ;-) His logic is a reflection of the essense of love, freedom, and understanding. But his visions went beyond what he could see...

    I've have some recent encounters with people's twisted interpretation of love and god that caused me to reevaluate things. People do things in the name of god based on traditions, routines, and rituals that they have not thought through and have absolutely nothing to do with "god". I use "god" in quotes because I stradle the fence on whether there is or isn't; the answer doesn't matter so much because my heart is pure and my love for the universe will sustain me. My love of the universe manifests itself in taking personal responsibilty and finding peace in what's real. So if there is a god and I am reflection, then I don't need to ask WWJD. WSID, what should I do?...yall remember that book "On becoming a god".

    Some of the most hateful people have compassion for others which makes me question the lack of understanding...People tend to focus so much energy on condemning people for their "sins" that it overshadows the love they have. The condemning should be between that person and their god. There's a misconception of our role as contributors in our society...
    I suppose most are products of the churches and pastors that base their sermons on quilt...it's all about what you know you shouldn't be doing rather than all you could be doing to be better. Know better and Do better.

    I believe in truth and love rests in the bosom.


Thank you so much for your comment! Peace & Blessings ;)