BY: DIVINE ADESIDA
We all have our variations of what we believe love to mean. You pick a person off the street and ask them what they think love is, and they might tell you it sucks because of the pain they’ve experienced. For others, it is the special feeling you get, you know, the goose bumps up your arm, the butterflies in your stomach that kind of thing. But is that really all there is to love? Now, I know, we classify love; the same love you show your mom or dad is not what you show your friends. So what is this love I am trying to convey? God’s love, agape love; a love of humans and our kind that goes beyond the physicality of tit for tat to a dimension so pure that nothing a person could ever do or say shakes His love for them.
Here is another definition: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does no boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 3:4-8 (NIV). When I see this list, God’s list of what true love for mankind is, I cannot help but feel my love is incompetent. How am I supposed to be patient and kind, when I’m late for class and the people walking in front of my car on the cross walk think they have all the time in the world? How can I not be envious when I see the people around me with the best clothes, cars, houses?
Or on the flip side, if I have those things, how can I not be boastful or proud of them and the other things I do have, an elite education being at the top. How can I not be self-seeking nor dishonor others when this world esteems the corporate ladder mostly entrenched with backbites and those who will do anything to be first? Why should I not be easily angered nor keep a record of those who wronged me when I am unfairly blamed for cheating in class and the professor publicly criticizes me? Then when the student who actually cheated comes forward, the professor does not apologize. Why should I not be happy when something bad happens to a bad person or rejoice when the truth spoken could put the one I love in prison? How can this love I am supposed to possess always protect and trust, hope and persevere?
At this point, I remember the cross, what God did to show his love; that despite all my inadequacies, my selfishness and greed; my pride and anger, He sent Jesus Christ his one and only Son to die for my sins. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-11 (NIV). I remember what He did to show His love, and realize that love, God’s love can NEVER fail. That despite my flaws and no matter what I do or say, He will always love me. Yet Christ’s show of love was not just for me, but for every person in history who believes and accepts His sacrifice. A person can never say they are too bad or have gone too far for God to love them. He still loves them, He still loves you.