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Reflections on love on this special day

1 John 4:18

1 John 4:18 “but perfect love casts out all fear…”

What is love? Can it be love if it causes others pain and grief? Can there a love that will make everyone happy? But happiness is but a fleeting emotion. And the happiness of one person, of anyone even, a load too much to bear for another. One’s happiness should not depend on someone else, nor should it depend or anyone or anything here on earth for that matter. For everything here on earth is but fleeting.

Is there happiness that can rejoice and stand amidst any circumstances? That would have to be joy — Everlasting joy, in spite of whatever circumstances. To be happy is a choice, we often hear; how we choose to react to situations and circumstances is our choice, true. And I believe God (our dear Father in heaven) is the one who fills our heart (mind and spirit) and enables us to do that. This Spirit in us. And with Him we can always choose joy over despair, hope over fear; choose to dream, choose to fly and go where He leads us. And He steadies our hearts and gives us strength, hope, courage, and grants us peace.

And love? Can there a love that will make everyone happy? Can it be love if it’s crippling, if it’s binding, if it comes with a contract and by-laws? Can sacrificing one’s own happiness to make someone else happy, be, love? Can pursuing one’s own dreams at the expense of others’ happiness, be, void of love (mere selfishness as some might see it)? Can the act of sacrifice still be love if it leads to resentment, and thereby crumbling the “love” which supposedly led one to do so in the first place? Can love force itself upon another, force people to act to the point of breaking their spirit? And if it all comes down to that, can we say the one whose spirit was broken for “love” and someone else’s happiness be noble and admirable? Can we say they have loved, even? Can the receiving end of that sacrifice be happy if they end up receiving a broken spirit? Will they not end up resenting each other?

We live in an imperfect world, each with our own definition of love. Conditional love. Each with our way of expressing love. Imperfect love. And imperfect loves are bound to collide; conditional love is bound to cast chains and inflict pain. Who is to blame? Perhaps one, the other, or both; perhaps neither one nor the other. We can only give what we have, and we can only love as much as we have been loved. Yet through all the imperfect love we have encountered and seen, through all this brokenness and all these chains, there is a fountain of love that can break through it all, and allow us to love beyond ourselves, beyond who we thought we were, beyond the labels and stereotypes we have (or allowed to let others) confined ourselves into. God’s perfect love. God’s unconditional love. The ultimate source of everlasting joy.

I plead for my case and hope they hear my cry. I pray that all of our chains be broken by God’s perfect love. For perfect love casts out all fear. (1 John 4:18). Perfect love always protects, always hopes, always perseveres.

Note: This was originally shared on Jenny’s wall.

 

Jenny and RB
Jenny and RB

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