Friday, November 09, 2007

The Best I am and the Best I have

I have always been fascinated with definitions. Over the years I have come to believe we rise and fall on our definitions because we are constantly interpreting reality according to our definitions.

For example, here in Brazil the definition of a traffic law would be better understood as a suggestion not a a rule. This may not sound like a big deal, but anyone who has driven here will understand that double yellow lines on a highway are mostly for decoration and not obedience. That makes a big difference in the real world. Now that I know that traffic laws here are suggestions, I drive expecting people to do pretty much what they please. When I get back to the USA I change the definition back to a rule and not a suggestion.

How do you define love? Is it a suggestion? A rule? A priority? A life?

One of the best definitions I learned many years ago for love goes something like this....
"Love is behaving toward others the way God has behaved toward us in the person of Jesus Christ."

I have used this definition for many, many years and it has served me well as I have moved through the messy traffic of life.

One of the more recent definitiions I have used is one I have developed personally over time.
"Love is giving relentlessly to another the best one is and the best one has."

Do these two definitions match? I believe they do. God is relentlessly giving us the best He is and the best He has. He is giving us Himself in the person of Jesus. This perfect, relentless love now abides in me so I can begin to relentlessly love in the same way.

When you define love as anything less than Jesus, you just turned love into a suggestion. Love is not a suggestion or a law.
Love is a relentlessly giving person. To love is Christ. To be loved is Christ. The best God is and the best God has is mine and yours right now and relentlessly forever. Relentless love abides in me! Relentless love is what I can now release.

When you read the sermon on the mount the next time you will see that the life being described by Jesus as salt and light is a life of sustained, relentless love. Even our enemies are to receive the best we are the best we have. That is far beyond a suggestion or a rule. It is a life. It is Jesus' life.

The best we are and the best we have is Jesus. The love we give is the love we have received and will forever receive.

Jesus told us to "abide" in His love as He was abiding in His Father's love. Jesus is inviting each of us to live from the best He is and the best He has moment by moment. The fruit of this receiving is relentless love released--the best we are the best we have released for others.

Define love as anything less than Jesus' best for us, in us and through us moment by moment and life's traffic will soon become a source of real frustration and danger.

Someday love will not be a suggestion in the world. We better get used to love now because in the Kingdom of God all traffic flows on love.

1 comment:

Tracy Simmons said...

This is so gorgeous! I just quoted much of this on my blog and linked back to this post. Beautiful!