“I love my truck.” “Love stinks!” “Love Hurts!” “What’s love got to do with it?”
“I want to know what love is; I want you to show me.”
Musings on love from the “world’s prophets. I think the last one is the cry of the planet: “What is love?”
I have heard several Christian speakers say that love is impossible apart from God. While I understand what they are saying, that’s not quite accurate.
Jesus said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32)
You do not have to know God to love. Love is found among those who know God and those who do not.
The problem we have in understanding love is found in the limitations of our language.
English, which is the language I speak, has only one word to define love – LOVE!!!
The Greek language, in which the New Testament was written, has several words to define love. It is in knowing these definitions that we see the difference in the feelings we experience and the actions we undertake to reflect love.
The four Greek words to describe love are:
Eros which refers to “intimate love” or romantic love
Storge which refers to familial love
Philia which refers to friendship as a kind of love
Agape which refers to “selfless love”
The passage we spoke of earlier in which Jesus is quoted uses the word for love whose root is “agape” when speaking of the type of love those who do not know God have for those who love them. Selfless love is possible among those who don’t know God, contrary to what some say. Selfless love can be found in the natural, divorced from the spiritual!
But……Notice that this love is a response to those who feel the same about them! It is a reciprocal response to love given.
What happens if there is no love given from the other side?
Jesus stated that, if we are only loving in reciprocity, that is of no credit to us. I used to work in the finance industry before becoming a pastor. I understand the concept of credits and debits. I know that to debit my bank account, I must have a credit received to make the debit possible. In other words, if you don’t have money in your account before you take money out, you will be found in default.
If another individual is depositing love into my “love bank”, I can easily draw some for them if they need it.
But, what if someone draws who has never deposited? Or, God forbid!! What if someone draws (debits) and keeps on debiting while never depositing (crediting) anything to my love tank?
What if someone is actually seeking to bankrupt me? The natural response is to never allow them to draw from me! The bank is closed! Because of you, I am going into default and am experiencing anger, hatred and frustration with a desire to exact from you what you owe me!!!!
We understand the Greek definitions for love. Each of us has experienced them. They all require a credit into our love tank to be in a position for a debit. Maybe better said; each requires an object from which to draw that type of feeling from.
Where do you draw from if the source is not crediting but drawing and drawing and drawing??
This is where the difference is seen between those who know Jesus and those who do not.
Those who know Jesus as their Lord always have the option of drawing from Him! His “love bank” is never closed! He deposits and deposits and deposits!! You do play a role in this: you must draw on His deposits or you will not experience the riches of His love!!!
If you are drawing from Christ, you CAN love those who do not love you! Unhindered love for others is possible if…………….
We draw from the love of God; directly from His Spirit and from the deposits He has made in others who know Him!!
We all know about Eros. We all know about Storge. We all know about Philia. We all know about Agape!!
But, do we KNOW Agape when others are drawing and not depositing?
“I want to know what love is. I want you to show me.”
That is how others see and experience the highest form of love – the love that comes from God alone!
If you are struggling to love someone today, you are going to need a deposit to make that possible. Since you cannot draw from them, you better find a place that you can draw from and continue to draw from even when you are experiencing a deficit!
The “First Communion Bank of Christ” is always open! Step up to the counter, and confess your need to draw from His love! Then, just receive!!! He can give you what you need and make you rich in love!