9.24.2010

"Love isn't enough"

Hearing those words spoken by a woman today started the little wheels in my head turning.  I felt my defenses rise.  Not that she was speaking to me… she wasn’t.   But such a phrase could pertain to anyone in any situation.  What could possibly be so great that love couldn’t rise to the call? 

Without analogy (yet) or philosophical reasoning, I’ll admit it.  I don’t agree.

Firstly, I understand the implication behind her words to have meant that niceties and sweet talk aren’t enough for any relationship.  There has to be self-sacrifice and needs met, which is what she went on to say.  But to reduce the definition of the word “love” to mean only affection and sweet words- not including giving of yourself to others- is to deform the whole meaning.  

 If a person sacrifices himself for another without love his conduct can only fall into the category of martyr.  One who feels he is a martyr will serve others, but his deeds are accomplished with an attitude of oppression and “poor me” is always uppermost in his mind.  It is a false humility.  One who gives of himself to others out of love will reap the benefits tenfold.  Love cannot be so described as to put it in a box, dwarfing its power.  It is too great.

If we delve into the Bible for the answer to this question we quickly find that God is love.  If He is love, then that means everything else He is/does stems from “love.”  So then “love is enough.”  Love will make every effort for another’s wellbeing.  Love will reach out when all else fails.  Love will prevail through hardship.  Love will suffer for someone else.

“Charity suffereth long… beareth all things…” 1 Corinthians 13:4&7

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?”  1 John 3:17

“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”  James 2:15-16

These scriptures give testament to the fact that love reaches beyond the pleasurable and sees the needs of those around it, acts upon those needs and meets them.  Love is sacrificial.

“Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up… seeketh not her own…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Without love, every effort is in vain; every victory hollow. 

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal…” 1 Corinthians 13:1

Without love, what good is all of our spirituality or works of faith?  Until we reach beyond ourselves and our own vainglory, it is nothing and accomplishes nothing.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing…” 1Corinthians 13:2

Until, because of love, we extend our hand to the needy and give of ourselves to someone else we gain nothing.

            “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3

How then, can we say “love isn’t enough” when we discover what love really is?  How deeply it flows and the vast territory it covers?  Love can move mountains.  If it can do what seems impossible, I certainly think it can reach across the room and touch someone else.  It can bridge the gap between two people.  It can sacrifice and meet needs. 

What are your thoughts on this matter?  Do you believe love is enough?  If not, then what is lacking? 

h. rae

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