12:30 AM

What Does Love Look Like?

I am, as anyone who knows me very well, a music afficianado. I have 2312 songs on my iTunes right now. I sing almost the entire way on road trips.

One thing I love to do is reobsess. Case in point: until a few days ago, I didn't have any of my rather ancient Avalon cds on the computer, but I fixed that ... and then rediscovered my love for the song "give it up" from their first cd. I listened to it alot on the drive back to Wake. I was particularly struck by the second verse. I'd better quote the whole thing to give you some context though.

dream a little dream
dream a little while
remembering a day when you were wide-eyed
gave the Lord your heart
gave Him all your soul
slowly you have taken back control

now you're somewhere in between
your new world and your old routine

dream a little dream
dream a little while
dream with me of how you think it might be

to give Him all your heart (give it up give it up)
give Him all your life (give it up give it up)
give Him all your soul (give it up give it up)
give it up give it up

the choice is black or white
not a shade of grey
because in love there's no such thing as half-way
devotion can't be swayed
emotions can't be torn
He'd rather we be hot or cold than luke-warm

bring the Father all your soul
there's freedom in the letting go...

ok. so now you've got some context. here's the line that captivates me: "because in love there's no such thing as half-way." I have really been thinking about that alot, and I think it's true. You can't love Jesus part-way. You can't have Him as Savior and not Lord. It just doesn't work. And because we should love Him, it becomes a moral issue - the choice IS black or white.

Here's the amazing thing: not only is that sort of moral decision inherent in our relationship with God, but also with each other. We are commanded to love one another, and if we don't that's disobedience. And, in case you hadn't noticed, that would be bad.

So what does this mean? And why am I writing so much on it? Because here's the clincher - in love there's no such thing as halfway. Not with Jesus, not with others. It's not love if you hold back. It's not love if you're preoccupied with keeping your territory. Of course, I don't mean that there aren't appropriate boundaries for relationships to have - love must be tough - but it must be LOVE as well.

What if we really tried to outdo each other in loving kindness? What if we actually obeyed these words?

"a new command I give you: love one another. as i have loved you, so you must love one another. by this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (john 13:34-5)

"be devoted to one another in brotherly love. honor one another above yourselves." (romans 12:10)

"let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law." (romans 13:8)

"you, my brothers, were called to be free. but do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." (galatians 5:13)

"be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." (ephesians 4:2)

"and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." (hebrews 10:24)

"now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart." (1 peter 1:22)

Though love will look different in different relationships, it certainly will have the same heart. And the amazing thing is that our love of Christ fuels, shapes, even defines our love for others.

Scary. I don't know how to do this very well. But at least now I have a better idea of how it looks...