This is something I wrote back in February of 2017, I just rediscovered it. Praise the Lord for being so rich.
The day was glorious.
My heart was unlocked to the truth of the Gospel. For years, I had been a slave to self- serving desires and emotions; I confused true love with lust and deep attachment. It was detrimental. Not only to my heart, but to the heart of another. This misconception, that love is an emotion, a feeling, is dangerous. It sacrifices one’s awareness of the greatest love anyone has ever encountered. Loving someone isn’t merely composed of feelings and emotions, rather, it is displayed “with actions, and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
Society constantly bombards us with false images of love: seduction, attention, lust, attachment, and gratification. I have found, when I chase after these things, instead of quenching the thirst of the soul, they intensify it’s desire. When we let our desires control us, our pain thrives, and the voids in our souls aren no less vast. This is because we are searching for love where God is not. True Love is from the most satisfying, most magnificent, and most precious Treasure to exist: God. “God is love, and love comes from God alone” (1 John 4:7-8), therefore, genuine love cannot exist apart from Him.
Jacqueline Olds, a Professor at Harvard Medical School, explains how the feeling of “being ‘love-struck’ releases high levels of dopamine” in the brain. The hormone, dopamine, creates an “experience similar to the euphoria associated with the use of cocaine or alcohol”, says Olds. Many mistake this feeling as love, because it is strong and enticing. The truth is: it’s also fleeting. Yes, there is a temporary high that can come from certain chemicals released in the brain. However, they leave the soul empty–just as it was before the surge. On the other hand lies the love of Christ.
A feeling pales in comparison to God’s love, because His love is a love that takes charge. His love is a love that moves. But, it’s also much more than that. God’s love is a motivated love. Everything God ever did was motivated by love. It was love that put Jesus on the cross, and it was love that kept Him there. It was love that raised Jesus from the grave, showing that God’s love is more powerful than death. There has only ever been one motivation in the heart of God.
Having been in both a relationship with man, and with God, I can testify to the overwhelming brokenness that comes from looking for ultimate Love in the wrong places; I can testify to the awe-inspiring redemption that comes from Jesus’s love for us; I can testify to the pain and strife that once resided in my heart, that had I not endured, I would not have been allowed to better appreciate God’s redeeming grace and unconditional love.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
True love is demonstrated in Jesus’s death on the cross. He laid down his life for us “for the joy that was set before him” (Hebrews 12:2). He accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, gifting us all new life now and forever. That is what love looks like.
He transformed my shattered heart into something marvelous. His love is a relentless love. He refused to give up on my doubtful heart, long before it ran after darkness. And when I rebelled from His loving presence, He waited for me patiently. When I came running back to Him, He ran towards me with joy. “He showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege” (Psalm 31:21).
So, yes, love is an action, but it doesn’t stop there. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not 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 13:4-7).
I am a serial doubter, but He is a serial lover.