“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ~ C.S. Lewis
We use the words from time to time.. ‘I love you’.. but what do we mean by them? Is it that we are happy you are there for us, that you provide stuff that takes the pressure off of us? Do we mean ‘you give and I receive and that makes everything alright’? When we say we ‘love’ someone is there any understanding of the sacrifice they made to provide for us? Do we comprehend the time they forfeited even to listen to our struggle or worries? Is there gratitude in those words… sincerity or even authenticity? It’s easy to say the words, ‘I love you’ but the authenticity of them lies not in the words themselves, but in our actions.
John writes to the Believers – those enjoying the fruits of God’s gift of His Son who died in our place, bearing God’s wrath towards all sin, he testified, “But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.” (1 John 2:5)
Love and obedience are inseparable, intertwined in a way that you can’t have one without the other. The true measure of our love is exposed through our willingness to make ourselves vulnerable to another’s word. We do this by putting off our own desires and making a priority, those ‘words’ or ‘ideas’ of another. John explains that the evidence that we truly know or understand the gift of God, in His Son, is that we not just enjoy His benefits, but put into action His will in obedience to His Word.
Love is a choice to make yourself vulnerable to another. It’s not a reckless choice to abandon your welfare, but to be consumed by another who has proven worthy of such a response. As for God… He so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life… and He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things.” (John 3:16, Romans 8:32)
Is God worthy of your love? Does your life reflect that love?
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Daily Quote: “Power, no matter how well-intentioned, tends to cause suffering. Love, being vulnerable, absorbs it. In a point of convergence on a hill called Calvary, God renounced the one for the sake of the other.”– Philip Yancey
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing to You, And my soul, which You have redeemed. Psalm 71:23