Feeling the Choice of Love

If you pay enough attention to advertising, you’ll notice that we are bombarded by choice in our lives.  According to a recent survey, we are exposed to approximately 3000 advertisements per day, which means that we are being given 3000 choices in these ads every day.  We can choose to have better breath, cleaner skin, shinier floors, trendier clothes.  One choice that I rarely if ever see in advertising, is the choice for love.  Often, love is portrayed as a moment of exhilaration, a point of sudden clarity, one filled with overwhelming emotion towards another where we become weak in the knees and in our constitution and can’t help but be taken over by these incredibly powerful feelings of desire for action.  In fact, if we are to believe movies, the process of decision-making when it comes to love is not present at all.  Love instead is a constant feeling of falling; it’s as involuntary as breathing; it’s something that just happens to us.  Yet, I’m sure when we wake in the morning to find our beloved next to us, covered in the glazed veneer that comes with sleep, love isn’t the first, or maybe even the fiftieth, feeling we feel.  In the heat of argument, when we are sometimes at our worst, we don’t feel helplessly in love with our mate, either.  The feeling of heated love may diminish as the years go one, so where is this feeling of love that songstresses so often croon about in ballads?  Our viewpoint on love tends to be romanticized, and we are too often led to believe that if you don’t feel consistent hopeless, helpless love about the other person, then something must be wrong.  You’ve lost that loving feeling, and you should probably move on.  Much like our earthly relationships, the same is with our feelings towards God.  We love to feel His love that dictates our love to others, but when we look to Him and don’t feel that life-changing love that we sometimes do, we feel that there’s something wrong and we shut down.  In Matthew 22, when the Pharisees question Christ about what the greatest commandment is, He responds with, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (22.37).  In this passage, Christ uses the word “love” not as a noun but as a verb.  Here, it is an active word indicating action and not feeling.  We might not feel love towards our mate, but should we choose love in that relationship, we make the decision that leads us towards actions that show love, instead of waiting around for feelings that motivate us to action. Choosing love dictates our actions, not the other way around where the actions of the other selfishly dictate our feelings of love.  We may not feel love, but when we choose to love that person, we grow in a loving relationship, and our actions dictate our feelings.  If we desire a close relationship with God, we must actively love Him and not sit around waiting for us to feel His love.  Love is a choice, not a feeling.  We must chose to love God even when we don’t feel love.  If we wait to feel His love, we then resort to bad decisions and poor choices, missing out on the blessings that await us when we choose to love Him.  Sometimes, the onus is on us to choose love.  This week, don’t wait for the feelings of love to overwhelm you to the point of action; choose the actions of love and enjoy the feelings that come with it.  Amen.


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