Love: it’s a word that has not only been watered down but has been somewhat redefined in our culture.

We love our pets, pizza, our friends and family, sports teams, movies, and the like. However, love, as with so many other things, is something that can knock our life’s trajectory completely out of phase. One of the most significant reasons for this is due to the fact that love is both a noun and a verb.

Love is often communicated through words, but as the old adage goes talk is cheap. Love is easy to profess but can often be a challenge to demonstrate. The world would have us believe that saying something that hurts the feelings of another is unloving. However, as with an addict, while an intervention may be hurtful in the moment and uncomfortable for all involved, the intervention is the most loving thing for them. This example is evidence of the greatest culprit, I believe, in our love knocking us out of phase.

Our feelings can fuel our emotions and hijack our focus in an instant. Left unchecked, our feelings of love can leave us devastated, while love lived out as God intended will fill us with complete joy and purpose. Examples of each include: unbridled passion or unhinged rage, absolute trust or paranoid jealousy, obsession or thoughtfulness, worry or rest.

However, love rooted in God’s plans for us is not determined by our feelings. While our feelings can—sometimes—be evidence of authentic love often when love is lived out it is not because, but in spite of them.

Kept in phase, love will drive us to sacrifice time, money, sleep, comfort, and sometimes even our lives for others.

Jesus said:

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (ESV)

Jesus is our perfect example of love lived out in perfect phase, demonstrating clearly that when we love completely we sometimes must do so in spite of our feelings.

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