“I love chaos!” That’s what my son told me when he was in kindergarten. I had explained to him that his school had certain rules in place, and without rules everything would be total chaos. That’s when he said “I love chaos!” After I laughed for a second, he quickly followed it up with, “By the way, mom, what is chaos?” 🙂 (You can read the whole story in my book What’s Prayer Got To Do With It?)
As you know, this last month Clutter Interrupted has been challenging us with blogs and radio shows to Love Your Home, Love Your Spouse, and Love Your Kids. There have been some fabulous ideas and practical advice we can carry out in our own homes and families.
The whole “Love is in the Air Month” of February got me thinking about the things we love—or at least say we love.
I love Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream at Baskin Robbins. I love the Oklahoma State Cowboys. I love sunsets, walks in the wilderness, visiting wineries, trying new restaurants, and sitting by a warm fire. We sorta throw this word “love” around flippantly sometimes and attach it to the things we really enjoy or make us happy rather than love. I remember when I was a kid and someone would say something like, “I love pizza.” Then some other smart aleck would respond, “Why don’t you marry it?” Yeah…we were clever back then, huh? 🙂
So, what do we really love? What should we really love? What does God’s Word tell us to love? What does God Himself love?
When we read through the Scriptures, we find out that God loves:
- The world (John 3:16)
- Each and every one of us (1 John 4:9-10, Romans 5:8)
- A cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7)
- Righteousness and justice (Psalm 33:5)
And what does the Bible say about what or who we should love?
- God first (Mark 12:30)
- Each other (John 13:34, 1 John 4:7, 1 Peter 4:8)
- Our neighbor (Mark 12:31)
- Our enemies (Matthew 5:43-44)
Funny…I didn’t see any ice cream or sunsets on the Bible’s list. 🙂
When we consider things we love, we certainly need to guard against these things becoming our idols, our obsession, or our main focus. We’ve got to maintain a healthy perspective with regard to whom and what we love. The gospels say that above everything else we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. God certainly wants to be Lord of all and Lord over all.
Let’s go back to the Bible’s list for what and/or who we are to love. What do you see? Other than God Himself (first and foremost), I see a list of people. People should be the recipients of our love. Not just people in general, but specific people…all people.
But let me take this one step further: 1 John 3:18 says “Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” And Romans 12:9 says “Love must be sincere.” We can’t just pretend to love people. We gotta really love them. We have to show it by our actions. We cannot merely love in theory or in words. We must love in sincerity and in practice. Not an imitation love, but the real deal. We have to love from the center of who we are.
We gotta love like Jesus…
Love without strings attached.
Of all the things we can love (..and our list is long), love God first and foremost…and make it a priority to love other folks.