-Jesus of Nazareth
“If you aren't good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you'll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren't even giving to yourself.”-Barbara De Angelis
As we think about Christ's sacrifice for us leading into Easter, I can't help but think about a profound sense of love in his actions leading up to the cross. You see, Jesus had a choice, but decided to follow through with God's plan knowing the end result.
What gets me is that I don't have that sense of dedication and committment. Sure, I'm committed to doing the best that I can, but if I'm honest, usually it involves preserving my own sense of self-what's in my best interests. I don't mean to sound cold in by any means, but there times when I do things for show-even as a youth pastor. Shocking I know, but there are times when I'm running on empty and have very little 'love' to go around.
While I won't go into details, I know this isn't something that only I struggle with. I think we all do as Christians. We struggle in our daily lives to line up our words and convictions with our actions. It's hard to compare ourselves to Jesus and sometimes it can be mind-numbing...especially when you consider that 'for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God'.
That happens to be my favorite verse. Why? Because it's humbling to me. It means there's a level playing field in the realm of life. It means that no one has plateaued in their understanding of God and in their relationship with God. I think it's important to realize this truth.
I think that you and I should examine the four types of love found in our day to day interactions. I think by doing so we can peel away some of our misconceptions and mis-steps too.
EROS-is considered to be physical passion, gratification, and fulfillment. C.S. Lewis called this type of love as 'indifferent' and 'desires the sexual aspect of a relationship'.
STORGE-is considered the 'natural bond' between mother and infant, father and children and kin.
PHILEO- is considered a love of affection. The delight of being in the presense of another, a warm feeling that comes and goes with intensity.
AGAPE-is a love that seeks the welfare and betterment of another regardless of how we feel. C.S. Lewis felt that this was the 'greatest of loves' and sees agape 'as a specific Christian virtue'.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT C.S. LEWIS' BOOK:THE FOUR LOVES
After reading about the types of love that are found in our relationships, take some time to evaluate your various relationships with friends and family members. As a matter of fact, I want to leave you with this challenge: Go and grab your Bible! Open it up to 1st Corinthians 13 and read it through once-slowly. Now, pick up and pen and a pad...now in the places that you see 'love' (verses 4-7) substitute it out and insert your name. After doing this, read that section...does it ring true? Again, take a good long look at where you are and how you feel. During Lent we are supposed to 'give up' certain things we try too hard to control-what can you give up in your life that would enhance your 'love' quotion and fill you up?
*I know the love challenge doesn't 'ring' 100% true for me, but it's a good reminder of the many things I need to work on in the areas of love.