True Love

Funny–according to a show on TV that I saw the other day true love is held up to be one of the most powerful forces.  “True love”  can break every curse, every bond, every spell.  Now, this is true, but not from the magical touching of lips that this show suggested.

I would have to say that I am a Thor girl (oh, oh–what tangent is she chasing this time…).  What warm-blooded Canadian woman wouldn’t be?  Those sculpted muscles, that regal bearing, the chivalrous manner, that perfect diction…

That’s not love.  That’s like.  I like the character’s outer shell. The face he chooses to show to the outside world as a person hired to pretend to be a (fictional) super hero.

I love John Elephante.  OK, we’re going back a few years, but John sang some of the most compelling Christian songs ever, in my opinion.  Not Just Any Other Day has got to be one of my very favourite Christian songs.  Hold Me in Your Arms, No one’s Ever Died for Me Before, This is What Love Is.  All fabulous (obviously 1990’s) songs.

This isn’t love either.  This is a one heart connecting to another that is speaking the truth.

But listen to his impression of what love is:

This is what love is

“And even when we fall
He loves us through it all.”

I can’t help but think of what a disappointment I would be to me if I were God.  Every moment of every day I fall down in my attempt to be like Christ, to show my love to God.  Think about it–even as a Christian I do, say and think things every day that would be offensive to God.  I’m unkind more than I wish to believe.  I want my own way.  I lose my Christ focus.  I wander around amusing myself and myself only.  It’s a good thing I’m NOT God!!

These things don’t sound too bad BUT Christ died for me.  You’d think that as a believer  I could get it together.

BUT even fully knowing that I would be like this–a less than stellar athlete on God’s racing team–Christ died FOR ME.  He overlooked all the terrible things that I would ever do and offered me forgiveness and grace.

I was struck today by how little I offer forgiveness and grace to those around me.  A friend does something very minor and I’m offended.  A driver cuts me off in traffic and I’m agitated.  I keep track in my head of all of the tiny, inconsequential minutiae that has made me upset or sad or mad over the past years.  How exhausting!

Sounds a little like the parable from Matthew 18:23 – 35.

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. NIV

Is that what love is?  To take forgiveness from God for a lifetime of sins only to demand retribution from one who owes a very little to us?

The forgiveness, grace, passion, patience, joy, peace and gentleness of our Heavenly Father towards a group of people who do not care as much for Him as He does for them…Now that is powerful.  That is a love that can break any bond.

That is true love.

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