Tuesday, March 13, 2007

God is love

What does it mean that God is love? Well from how I understand it, after reading the first couple of chapters of C.S. Lewis's The Problem of Pain, is that God is and always has been loving himself. For us to love ourselves it is looked down upon, at least to love only ourselves. For God though it is perfectly fine for him to love himself because he is the greatest thing in the universe. He is the most worthy to be loved of all beings in existence. So for him to love something else would be tantamount to calling that thing the greatest thing in existence. Now I don't mean that he can't love us because he certainly can, but he loves us because he died for us and covered us with himself, so by loving us under those conditions, he's still loving himself. (This might be off so please correct me if so).

Since God is trinitarian in nature he has been able to have a relationship even before there were creatures for him to have a relationship with. The father can love the son, the son can love the father and the holy spirit can love them both, and so on. Now I'm saying this in language that implies there is more than one God, but don't get me wrong, God is ONE. I think part of the mystery of God is understood by married couples. Though they are two, they become one. God is in perpetual oneness with himself.

Since God is the greatest thing to be loved, Jesus came to earth and showed us how to do the most important thing in the world, love God. He knows what is best for us and that is himself. Because of sin we were separated from the privilege of loving God. Jesus made that wonderful and necessary thing possible again and in doing so he was also loving God. By obeying his will.

People, since they are made in the image of God, try to get people to love them the same way that God tries to get people to love him. If you ever listen to a rapper, rapping about himself, he puffs himself up, he makes huge statements about himself, statements with no basis or purpose except to make him look good. God does the same thing, but his statements have a basis in a firm foundation and they have a high purpose, to make God glorious. It's OK for God to be selfish because he is the only self perfect enough to also have the wisdom to be selfless. See, the reason Jesus is so hard to imagine as God's son is because God is so much higher than us. He's so much more than us. He has justification for being selfish and yet he, as Jesus, came to earth and became the exact opposite that he has every right to be.

I thank God that I am counted among those able to talk to him. If it wasn't for his infinite effort to bring us into a right relationship with the father, I wouldn't even be able to breathe anymore. God's mercy spared my life and his grace gave me the gift of a beautiful friendship with the one who made me. Thank you Jesus for your love.


Chris Bressoud said...

Nice Dave. Reference 1 John 3:7-5:12 perhaps? Not that love isn't anywhere else in the Bible, but you just summed up those verses.

Heather said...

Some (mainly nit picky) comments:

I don’t think it is quite so much God loving himself (though you can certainly paint it that way and it gets the point across) as it is that God is love himself. Therefore to exist, for God, is to love, not as a choice He makes but just a fact of who He is. And because God is inherently, and perfectly good, that is the entirety of what He loves. He can love no other. And it is in that you are entirely right: for Him to love something else would indeed be tantamount to calling it the greatest, the perfection of the universe (which is only God). Hence the sacrifice, which you mentioned. When, through faith, we accept Jesus, it becomes as though God has a set of Jesus colored glasses that He now wears when He sees us, seeing solely the perfection of Jesus. We are seen through the “lens” of Jesus, our old sin and corrupt nature no longer in view. He then, loves us as though we were Himself, not as a conscience choice, but as before, as a fact of His being.

What else is interesting (and I m not sure I agree on) is when you mention God as selfish. I feel like God cannot be ever classified as selfish atleast not in a worldly sense because that would imply a nature to God that is simply not there. That is to say, to be selfish is defined as “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.” and the implications are that God is concerned primarily for God at the potential harm of others. But because God is goodness in its entirety, wholly and completely good, He has nary a chance to “choose” Himself over any other; He can only love pure goodness, which is Himself. Were there something of a greater good than God, His love would be for that (and through all this, I believe we can find a clearer definition of love). That is why He cannot stand sin in us; for the sin is against the goodness, which is the entirety of God. But in being goodness He knows the good for our lives and (within the restraints He has sent by freewill) He desires and seeks that for us as well, being as you said “selfless”. Yet selfless and selfish imply a mutually exclusive alternative that does not exist with God; to be “selfish” and love only goodness is equivalent to being “selfless”, for the good He placed in each of us He does love, so much that He longs to make us entirely good. Am I making some sense here?

Heather said...

ps: i forgot to mention that I enjoyed this post (though I do love to pick things apart too ;))
Thank you for posting.

pps: "this blog does not allow anonymous comments". liar. ;)