~ Tracy Frederick
The flowers are beautiful, the ring magnificent, the stuffed animal precious and the selfie sweet. Ahhhhh….love….. I remember rushing from class because I couldn’t wait to read the note he left in my car letting me know that he was thinking of me. He never forgot, or was too busy. Later, I promised to love him for the rest of my life. He, my love, promised to love me all the days of his. I realize now almost 30 years later that I really didn’t know what love was, not real love. I quickly learned that it was more than sweet notes and lunches at Long John Silvers. It was deeper than that and demanded more of me than I ever knew. It meant sacrifice. It meant forsaking all others, faithfulness, support and demonstration of that love. We expect those that love us to show us their love, not just profess it. So, we judge his behavior as proving his love for us because he brings us flowers, gifts, or takes us to special dinners on special days…all at a cost….and if he forgets and fails to pay that cost….or chooses to do something else, we doubt his love...aren’t I right? We know that love is shown by how much one is willing to pay, to sacrifice for our love. It is what makes it…well…LOVE.
God paid the cost with sacrificing his son because he loves. ( John 3:16)
Christ suffered because He loves…was tortured because He loves…was humiliated because He loves…was tortured because He loves…gave all that He had because He loves….gave up his home because He loves…and has always…always remained faithful and steadfast in His love.
Christ never hurt us….never caused us to cry….never laughed at us…has always defended us…because He loves.
The sacrifice and cost that God paid for our love is undeniable. But, what has me wondering lately is if we really love. I mean, if love comes at a cost, if it is the essence of sacrifice to show/prove our love, if we insist that of others, can we excuse ourselves when we are asked to do the same?
If we claim to love Him….but are unfaithful because it is too inconvenient ….is it really love? (Rev. 2:10, James 1:12)
If we profess our love for Him….but don’t want to stop “cheating” on Him with our habits that disgust Him…is it really love? (John 14: 12-17)
If we confess loudly our love for Him…but ignore it when asks us to forsake all others for Him…is it really love? (Lk 10:27)
So, what I have been pondering lately is: If we SAY we love…and refuse to PAY the cost….is it really love?
Those sweet little notes my love left for me are precious to me and are in a box in my closet. I take them out and read them from time to time and remember those days. But, I learned pretty quickly that it was more than sweet notes that meant he loves me…So, isn’t it time that we call it what it really is if we aren't willing to pay?...umm…like?....ummm---someone we use when we need something or want something? Let's see.....ok..Someone to pay our fine when we need bailed “out of jail?” ….but please let's be honest and not call it love If we aren’t willing to give…sacrifice…that’s not real love and we know it don't we…how do I know?....I know love because God showed me what love costs when it cost Him everything.