THE REAL THING
by Kathy Holliday
Heart-shaped candy boxes are making their annual appearance. “Love” is in the air. Portrayed as the virtual champagne of life, the world’s version of love bubbles and sparkles enticingly, suggesting effortless fulfillment. But frothy, fizzy emotion lacks staying power: often it quickly goes flat, and the effervescence is replaced by crushed hopes and scarring emotional pain. Prime time television is cluttered with “reality” shows featuring bachelors and bachelorettes who evaluate bevies of candidates who each hope to be chosen as “the one.”
This isn’t Love; it’s a carefully manipulated set-up exploiting our intrinsic need for love, while at the same time allowing viewers to be virtual voyeurs . Let’s be honest; the real motive behind these “love pursuits” is advertising income.
Real love is fundamentally different. It is indivisible from God Himself.
A nugget of truth shared by an Adult Sunday School teacher applies here: “The fallen world we live in is upside-down. If the world is pointing one way, you can be sure that God’s Truth is the opposite.”
And an additional pearl of wisdom, gleaned in another Sunday School class, [lesson: pay attention in class!] true love -in whatever relational context- is “an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.”
We all are imperfect, born with a fatal flaw that can only be remedied by a love beyond our capability, a profound and costly love. The Lord’s agape love is other-centered, a love “in spite of” the beloved’s shortcomings. It’s love that never fails [I Cor. 13:8] and never runs out because its source is God, and “God is Love,” [1 John 4:8].
Any who doubt need only look at the cost He willingly paid to redeem us and the undeniable life change in those who have been transformed and thus able to extend the same agape love to others.