What Is Love?

Note: This entry has an element of “ranting” today. I apologize in advance.

In 1993, Haddaway asked a very eminent question: What is love? Everyone has their own definition for the word. Currently, the most popular description of love seems to be anything that makes people feel good. When you “love” someone, you avoid arguments and never disagree. You must never criticize the person or point out any of their flaws. This would be wrong and evil. The most important thing to note about today’s brand of love is that you absolutely have to accept any way of thinking and every kind of lifestyle. Today’s “love” has no rules or a foundation because it is based 100% in fickle emotions, which means it can change at moment’s notice. Let’s get real, people! This isn’t love! What I’ve just described is a false sense of security that’s been adopted by those who “can’t handle the truth,” as Jack Nicholson would say. Frankly, it’s a sign of immaturity. This ridiculous definition of love has been created; however, a false idea about the subject does not change its true meaning.

I’m not sure when this way of thinking got started, but it is not helping us communicate or relate well to one another. The assumption is that if we disagree with a certain behavior, we are attacking them as people. To agree is love as to disagree is hate. People no longer realize that you can have compassion and empathize with a person’s struggle and still disagree. Consider this: In John 8:4 – 11, a woman is caught in adultery. Jesus had compassion for the woman, told her that He doesn’t condemn her; but also, He said that she should leave her life of sin. I strongly believe that a warped sense of love is why people reject the Word so fiercely. One pastor preaches grace and tenderness (John 1:17, Eph. 4:32), while the other speaks of discipline and consequences (Rom. 6:23). Many are so quick to shout, “contradiction!” But sadly, we have failed to realize that both pastors are accurate.

The Bible shows us that Jesus was both tender and strong, reserved and powerful, passionate and tough – especially with the Pharisees. Some see this as a contradiction. But Jesus is not a man with MANY sides, He is simply one thing … LOVE. Love is patient and kind, but it is also honest and just (1 Cor. 13:4, John 1:14 & Isa. 61:8). This is the area of love that people would rather forget. These days, most of us want to be told ONLY what we want to hear … whatever makes us “feel good.” Some of us surround ourselves solely with “yes men.” We have gone so far over the cliff that we’ve gotten into the habit of slamming those who tell the truth. Honest people are often accused of “throwing shade,” using “hate speech” and “shaming” others. I’ll admit that there are folks out there who only desire to stir up trouble; but people’s extreme sensitivities have brought us to a point where no one can say anything that may resemble constructive criticism or simple observations. It’s sad that we are so mentally and emotionally fragile that we push the truth away and live a lie for the sake of our comfort.

Even some Christians have adopted this way of thinking and have decided to ignore certain biblical truths. It’s no surprise why those same people aren’t seeing the results of God working in their lives as they desire. They are frustrated because they don’t realize that straddling the fence with one leg in the Word and the other in the world is a sure way to cut yourself from a fulfilling life (James 1:8). A true friend tells you the truth because they love you (Eph. 4:15, Prov. 17:17). As a friend, I should be able to say, “Hey, I’m really concerned about your health and weight loss would greatly benefit you,” because this person’s health issues are directly related to being overweight. Saying, “I love you, but I completely disagree with your lifestyle,” may be in order when the person’s ultimate demise will be because of their reckless decisions and other so-called “friends.” It’s true that bad company corrupts good character and can lead you astray (1 Cor. 15:33, Prov. 12:26). But that’s not the popular thing to say. We have traded real friends and companions for relationships with people who care nothing about us … and we wonder why today’s relationships don’t exhibit much trust and don’t go beyond the surface. #Fake #Superficial

Friends who agree with EVERY decision you make and never want to “rock the boat” are just people who could NOT care less whether you progress in life or not. Is there greater benefit in a friend who tells you that you’re about to drive off a cliff or a person who says nothing as you approach the edge because they don’t want to offend you? The more we reject the Truth, the worst life will get. You’ll wake up one day, take stock of a messy life and ask, “How in the world did I end up here?” The answer: You rejected lasting truth for temporary comforts. I have said this before, but notice: The more we push the Word out of our lives, the worse things get. At what point will we finally realize that hearing the truth and applying it to life is the only thing that will resolve our growing issues?

As previously stated, I’m not sure how or when this happened, but it’s ruining us. Maybe it’s arrogance. Have we become so great in our own minds that we no longer believe we have flaws? Is this why we are so opposed to criticism, because we are the personification of perfection? When did the human condition change and how did I miss out? I hear people saying, “No one’s perfect,” but who actually believes this anymore? It seems like no one. Allow me to ease some of your fears: Because we’re human, it is okay to have a few imperfections. And it’s also okay to have a people in your corner who care enough about you to speak on those imperfections if need be.

Kirby N. McKinney

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