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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love is More than a Feeling

There are many kinds of love, but all too often what this culture calls love is more like affection or even infatuation or attraction. Nothing wrong with the love we "feel." It's wonderful when we really feel it. But relying on feelings as the sole proof of love is one of the dumbest things we could ever do. Forgive me for being blunt, but some of us (chiefly me) need to be hit with a hammer sometimes to get the point. Feelings are fickle. They come and go. Feelings can be impacted by 10,000 variables that have nothing to do with real love. Too little sleep, too much sleep, a poor diet, not enough of a certain vitamin, the time of year, the time of month (cough), clouds, body chemistry, etc. etc. etc. Love is far more than a feeling, and if we forget that, we will crash and burn in our relationships with people…and with God. For years, I struggled with not "feeling" the love of God. I wanted warm fuzzies, hugs from God, to hear and feel Him near. Seemed like some other people got that, but not me. So I quite literally found my faith shipwrecked in despair…because of feelings.

In contrast, the bible tells us that "Greater love has no man than this: that he lay down his life for a friend." John 15:13. That's agape love right there, folks. Selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. Boom. Just this past year, I've come to grips with this reality, and it has changed my life. I don't have to feel God's love. I don't have to beg Him for love. I don't have to base my confidence of God's love on what I feel. The scriptures tell us that God took love to a whole new level: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8. Let that sink in. While we were still sinners, meaning when we cared nothing for God or for Jesus. When we went about our merry way, seeking self above all things. When we spent our lives on our own appetites—Christ died for us. Christ. Died. For. Us.

Forget feelings. They will come and they will go. But you can KNOW that God loves you because He lay down His life for you. He took action. He saved us. Believe it, and you'll know you're loved by God. Happy Valentine's Day.