This one thought makes its way into my mind almost every day. Love is simple.
I didn’t say it was easy, but it’s simple.
I see all around me very complex problems with no apparent solution. I see families so torn by conflict with no hope in sight. I see people's lives crushed by the weight of their bad circumstances.
Wives broken and crushed by broken vows.
Husbands drowning in discontent caused by the lies of pornography.
Mothers with hollow hearts wishing they could get their babies back.
Fathers weeping at the graves of their sons and daughters killed by random violence.
Teens unsure of their identity having never known their fathers.
Daughters afraid to come home and face their own parents.
Sons forced to be the only adult in the home.
Children taken away from good parents by a state with an ax to grind against discipline.
The man asked Jesus:
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"
And He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."
Matthew 22:36-40 ESV
When I take a step back, it’s clear to me that if I insert love into each and every relationship the problems become simple.
Hey - I get that there are still troubles - still crisis strikes - still tragedy may come.
But what if we didn’t add a broken marriage to the loss of employment? What if we didn’t add angry violence to disappointment?
I’m not talking about some kind of mushy smoochy kind of Hallmark love though.
I said love is not easy.
Love is work. Love often means saying ‘no’ to yourself. (That’s hard.)
I know that everyone says we must love our selves so that we can love others, and I really do get what they're saying. But as with any truth, this one often gets blown out of proportion.
Jesus had no problem with self-esteem, He had a good self-image. (The very image of God - that is a good self-image.) But He demonstrated love as He laid down His life for those who hated Him - those who rejected Him - those who would take His life by force.
He counted His life, His entitlements, His priorities, His privilege, of less importance than the lives of those He came to save: the pharisees, the Romans, the lost sheep of Israel, those in Palestine, those in Asia Minor, the inhabitants of continents yet undiscovered and unknown to the writers of holy scripture. (As He put it - Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. - Acts 1:8)
Love is the simple answer to all the world’s problems. But it must be applied liberally and without reserve.
That’s what I’m thinking.
What do you think? Have I over simplified?
See you again soon.