Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 16: Anything for Love

I'm still puzzling over today's assigned topic: "I would do anything for love ... but I won't do that."

This actually makes no logical sense to me. Doesn't the word "that," no matter what "that" is, fall under the category of "anything?"

Also, there are many things you could "do" that would not be loving acts ... and therefore you could not do them "for love." For example, I love my wife dearly and feel that I would do anything for her. I would certainly take a bullet for her. But would I rob a bank? No. Why not? Because robbing a bank would be a sin against God. A sin against God would not be a loving act toward God (or toward others, such as the bank and its investors).

And I'm convinced I can't claim to truly love my wife unless I can love God first.

John Piper illustrates this reality in a wonderful book that my wife and are reading together, called Desiring God. His point is that human beings are fundamentally incapable of initiating true love, because we are fallen. We cannot love God until we realize that He loved us first.

Then as we learn to respond to, love, and desire God, it's this vertical relationship that then makes it possible for us to truly love others (horizontally speaking).

There therefore is no such thing as an act that is unloving toward God, but loving toward another person. All true love is founded in the vertical.

So, you see my conundrum. It simply is a logical fallacy to say that you would "do anything for love." For if you would do anything, it's not true love. True love constrains us to act in the best interest of the person we love, rooted in and motivated by the love which God has nurtured in our hearts.

I'm sure right now some folks are clucking and saying, "That's ridiculous. Of course I love my wife, my kids, etc. ... and I don't even believe God exists."

I guess I have two questions for you: 1) You can define love a lot of different ways. How do you know that what you feel and express is true love? Perhaps it's merely an imperfect shadow of the real thing? And 2) How do you know that the love you are capable of expressing isn't part of what God placed in you when He created you (and may therefore be an imperfect shadow of His true goal for you)?

Of course, after all this deep philosophical reflection, I suppose what Lindsey and Katrina really intended for this topic was something more along the lines of, "Hey, I love you ... but there's no way I'm clipping your toenails for you. You're on your own, you slob."

1 comment:

lindsey said...

I would say... 1) I don't know if it is true love. Mainly because I don't know who actually defines true love. I love. And I know that that is true. 2) I so believe the love I am capable of expressing is exactly what God has created in me... both from the start and throughout my whole life. Because I'm telling you... I love my husband and my dog (I know, I know... I might have weird problems with this one) so much that it MUST be a God-given ability.

I'd probably clip toe nails. But I will not clean the toilet after you. Gross.