Letters & Opinion

Love – What is it?

By Andrew Sealy

WE live in a world when everyone seems preoccupied with the concept of love in one dimension or the other. For example, Valentine’s Day was celebrated, and millions, if not billions of dollars, were spent world-wide to celebrate ‘LOVE’. However, the majority of people around the world have a very warped concept of true love. Many surveys have been carried out with the result that what people call love today involves very warped concepts of the notion held by humanity just a century ago. I once read an African novel entitled ‘Last night I loved a woman’, only to find out that the author, a very young man, was referring to a one night stance with a female stranger. How sad.

What is your concept of love? Are you sure that you understand what love is? Have you experienced love? Have you practiced love? Would you consider yourself a loving person? What standard do you use to determine your love? Do you have some kind of measure or guage for it?

The noblest concept of love is what has been referred to as Agape love, or the love of God. It is a totally selfless, self-sacrificing experience for the benefit of someone else. In other words, it is a gift which comes at great cost to the giver, and is of tremendous benefit to the recipient, who does not ever deserve it. Agape is the God kind of love, and evidence of it is widespread throughout the universe, especially in favour of human beings. Man has been at the receiving end of Agape from the Creator of the Universe, but too many of us are just blind, uncaring or disrespectful of the gift which comes from only one source, and that is begging to be received and put to use. Agape is all around us. Can you sense it? Have you accepted it? Have you shared it with someone else?

The greatest book ever written boldly exclaims without contradiction or intimidation that GOD IS LOVE. The fourth chapter of the First Epistle. of John in the Bible is only one of the greatest expositions of love ever penned, and my encouragement to you right now is to read it for yourself, familiarize yourself with all that it says, and then share it with someone you hold dear to you. The words God and Love are mentioned so frequently in this short portion of the Bible that the reader cannot walk away from it without coming to the realization that the two are inextricably linked. God is Love and Love is God.

In light of the above, will you at least rethink your concept of Love? The Bible informs us in the Gospel of John chapter three and verse 16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then the Apostle Paul puts some icing on the cake when he told us in Romans chapter five and verse eight “But God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” At this point, I cannot help myself. I need to remind you of what is written in the fourth chapter of the first Epistle of John and verse 10: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” That big word propitiation simply means the atoning sacrifice, or the sacrifice which we do not even qualify for on our own. That is love.

We have only nibbled at the tip of the iceberg of love. The Bible is indeed the love book par excellence. I hope that you will make some time to read it today. It will be worth your while. In fact, I believe that it will change your life for good, especially if you get into the habit of reading even a small portion of it every day. A group of Bible lovers has come together to declare that “2020 is the Year of the Bible” in St. Lucia. The intention is that every St. Lucian will come to the realization that Almighty God, the great creator of the universe has spoken to us in the Bible, and that He expects us to learn about Him, build a personal, intimate relationship with Him, so that He can help us experience what true love is all about. Please do not miss out on this great opportunity. Begin reading your Bible today, even if it is only one verse a day, and you will begin to experience life on a higher plain. In this way, you will be able to help another individual enjoy the numerous blessings of Bible reading. St. Lucia will become a much better place if more of us get into the habit of Bible reading, and you will be a major contributor to this marvelous change.

But, I am not through. The 13th. Chapter of the book of Hebrews starts with a simple bot bold declaration which applies to everyone. “Let brotherly love continue.” Having been introduced to the love of God, we cannot stop short of our ultimate destination. Whatever you did for Valentine’s Day can be revisited in light of this important sentence from the Word of God. The vertical dimension to love is the most important one, but we cannot operate without the horizontal dimension, which calls us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

Do you consider yourself a lover? Maybe, even a champion lover? Well, take another look. Do you still believe that you qualify – or do you now think that you have some adjustments to make? In fact, all of us have very major adjustments to make because the standard set by God is so high, none of us can even come close without His divine assistance. This love thing is an ongoing experience which pushes us to grow a little every day. The more you experience it, the more you will want to keep on experiencing it, and the more people in your immediate circle of influence will want to be a part of this glorious exercise.

The beautiful thing about this journey of love is that once you start, you will want to continue, and then the effort will become contagious, touching lives all around you. You will be blessed by it, and others will also be blessed. Wouldn’t you want to be a part of such an experience? Everybody is looking for love, and you could be a cog in the wheel that helps them navigate to true love. To do this effectively you need to begin reading the Bible every day and your world will change positively.

Congratulations for taking this first step. You are a world changer!!

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