This is the subject of this last in a series of blog entries reflecting on my renewed and intentional focus on making some ‘resulotions’ for personal growth and development beginning Sept 1st (tomorrow).
Love is the single-most important foundation upon which the whole Christian faith and tradition is built. It starts with God’s love for us, and God’s desire to see each of us live to our full potential (both now and eternally). It continues with our response: to love God first and foremost and to let that love define our lives, priorities, purposes, and goals. And, it extends to our loving and caring for others… not only our family and friends, but also strangers and even enemies.
You don’t even have to be a Christian to see, right away, the power and influence of real love in the world: It breaks down walls; turns anger and mistrust into care and concern; it inspires art, poetry, song, good deeds, communication, understanding and good will; love is transformative.
I would be willing to say that, without it, we are always doomed to underachievement, under-performace, under-fulfillment… and a rough and rocky road all the way.
There is a definitive chapter on love in the Bible… many folks have heard portions of it read at weddings. It goes like this (1 Corinthians 13:1-8):
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
Put this way it becomes clear… no love… no real progress.