Focus: Too Much Love?
In this matter of God’s love for us and our love of each other, there is a chasm between our understanding of love and His. In fact, when God loves us we very often do not recognize it as love.
Now the problem lies in the fact that I am looking for His love to resemble what I so often give and receive from others and which we both may call love. But His love will not look like our diluted version.
In loving us God does not stop at the lower levels of what we may desire. He goes on to the higher levels of what we actually need. And in doing so He gives us more love than we may actually want! As C.S. Lewis phrased it, “...the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little.”
In a phrase: God’s love has an agenda. He is out to make of us more than we are even capable of desiring. He has picked a destiny beyond anything we could ever “think or imagine.” And of course, when He puts us on the rugged trail that climbs to these dizzy heights, we complain that His love doesn’t feel like love at all—this isn’t what we wanted!
There are times when the Family of believers is called on to love its members with this same exacting love—a love which will not settle for moral and spiritual mediocrity. It is a love that reproves the wrong, instructs in the truth and then assists to healing and greatness.
This love calls us to embrace God’s passionate agenda for our brothers and sisters. And like our Lord, we are called on to risk rejection and mocking from the very ones for which we are laying down our lives.
But if I can trust my own experience, I believe it is the teachers, for example, who really cared about us, who cared enough to demand we do our very best—who really cared about who we became—that we now look back to with gratitude. Having matured, we understand now what we did not understand then. And we are grateful for the stiff training they imposed on our then ungrateful and ignorant passions.
It is to these—not to the soft and indulgent who flattered our egos and stroked our wants, for fear we would not like them—that we give the awards for greatness and meaningful love. After all, we now know they put us ahead of their own comfort and popularity—sacrificial love.
And it is this kind of reflection of God’s love with which we must all be ready to help each other. But before we can, we must learn to desire it in its purest form from Him. We must let Him love us, “too much.”
... Pastor Gary