I think we live in the most love-sick time in history. If you don’t believe me, turn on any radio station, or turn on any TV. Listen to some Christmas music to get into the spirit, and I dare you to count how many aren’t even about Christmas at all.
Everybody wants it, everyone seems to lose it, did anyone even find it to begin with?
I think at the abstract level we get it. Love is patient and kind. However, recently, I’ve been realizing at the practical level we so often stop ourselves from loving freely.
Love takes risks, yet we're completely protected.
How do we respond in the run of rejection? How many times do we make micro-managed decisions to protect ourselves?
immediately become skeptical of new people, waiting for them to prove themselves?
find comfort through frequent isolation?
become fearful of saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing, being the wrong thing that others will leave or reject us?
become possessive of the closest relationships, not wanting them to enjoy time with others?
look at an Instagram post and have our first thought be about how we weren’t invited?
simply wait and see for people to prove their change?
These micro decisions define our love more than realize. They make up a growing need that we make in our mind to protect ourselves from rejection, hurt, and separation. But you know what I’ve realized? That’s not love. Love doesn’t start with mistrust, it believes the best, even if that is deemed naïve. Love doesn’t hide. It extends itself, even at the price of over-extension. Because God can expand our heart for it. Perfect love draws out fear, believing that people can forgive us too. It does not fear about being loved because we know we are loveable. Love doesn’t fear that our closest lovers will leave by adoring others too, and it doesn't jealously envy the invitation, because it knows we're invited by him. Love will never bring worry, fear, or concealment.
Boundaries and abuse are a different discussion, but I think we often put barriers up, not healthy boundaries.
Love will share. And let me tell you it’s freeing.
I think I’ve found the key to stop self-protection. You are protected. Without Jesus, self-protection makes sense. How else will you avoid pain? But here’s the thing, we were crafted to love freely. I think we’ll always feel that a part of us is missing when we have to restrain and withhold something we were made to freely give.
It’s why everyone is singing about love. It’s why everyone is singing about heartbreak. It’s why we float from person to person. Maybe it’s not about the person at all. Maybe it’s about the flux of love coming from our heart, not theirs.
We keep waiting until it’s safe, until we know they won’t leave, or until they care as much as we do. Then we can love freely. Little do we realize how much we’re conditioning our heart to be conditional.
Love will keep on even when they don’t.
Why? Because each human being has an actual value to our eyes and we see that they are worth it. Not because of what they could ever give back, but because of who they are.
We need God’s eyes. We need Jesus’ heart. We need Holy Spirit’s acts.
But nobody wants to be rejected. It hurts. It’s painful. Oh yes, but it wouldn’t be love if you didn’t risk that. And at the end of it all, you are always okay. Your identity never has to fall into the hands of another ever again. Right now, you can decide that it’s his. You already get to freely love God in protected, safe arms that never reject. He’s always going to love you more than you do, care about you more than you do, and be more trustworthy than you could ever be.
And because you already have received it freely, you can give it freely. There may be tears from separation, and oh I’ve cried a lot of them, because I don’t think he built our hearts for it. I bet he’s cried every time that I rejected him. And maybe it’s in those times that our hearts truly mold to his. Maybe we can still have our hearts completely in his hands, but still, see it break to pieces. And when it happens, I don’t think heartbreak is an identity issue. We simply get to watch him go beyond what superglue can do and see him reconstruct our heart, expanding our ability to love. I want to risk it all for this kind of life. For this kind of love.
I think we live in a generation crying out for unconditional love. We’re only hurting ourselves by our conditions. We all want to love freely.
I keep sensing it. It’s come up over and over. More than any time in history, we are wanting love. And little do we know it’s his. Every movement of God in the past has been through disciplined people and their dedication, but I think there’s more available. Someone once told me,
“I don’t want to be apart of another movement, I want to be apart of the movement. The one that sees it through to the end.”
I think this is it. A church that is steeped with a love sickness for God. People who will give their whole lives to Jesus not out discipline, but devotion, passion burning in their hearts. That is ultimately what moves us the most. And it moves him the most.
I don’t think he wants 24/7 prayer meetings, week-long fasts, and 5-hour ministry nights as much as he wants all the love in our soul.
There’s a difference between loving God and falling in love with him.
And this is what I think we’ve all been waiting for.