One Tennessee autumn day I was out in the yard with my granddaddy helping him rake leaves. I’m thinking I was six or seven and just yapping away to him about something when I mentioned that I “loved” a certain object. My granddaddy stopped raking, looked down at me and said, “Montee, we don’t love things. We love God and people.” I just said, “Yes, sir” and got back to raking, not fully understanding. That moment has stuck with me ever since, and I did eventually understand what he was trying to teach me. We aren’t supposed to love things because if we do we can begin to worship and idolize them. We shouldn’t use the word love lightly because love is a precious emotion given to us by God and it should be honored as such.
Look at your social media. We have the option to click on a heart to show we love something. Instagram gives you no choice but to love things with a click on that heart and it shows us right where our hearts are. I look at my Instagram and it tells me a lot about what I “love.” I would say it seems I love home and food the most. Religious or godly posts are in third place. Taking care of self is next. Ah, well it seems I need improvement when it comes to where my heart really is. My grandfather’s words are usually going through my mind when I click on that Instagram or Facebook heart. In conversation I consciously try to say I like something, but a lot of times “love” instead of “like” comes from my mouth.
Yes, love is the most precious gift from God. He wants us to love Him first of all, and then try to be like Jesus and love one another despite our flaws. We can never completely understand true love as much as we may think we do. In other words, we can never completely understand the love God has for us. It is so deep and vast, just incomprehensible. He loves so much that He allowed His Son to be hung from a cross for us. If we want to reflect just a small portion of that godly love, we will sacrifice and live a life of selflessness. But it seems to me that love has become just a word and has lost its true meaning because our society so adores things. Loving things instead of liking has turned us away from love’s original purpose. Love is not about just clicking on a heart button and scrolling through to the next Instagram post and clicking on that heart again. We love whatever it may be for just a moment, then move on to the next thing because love isn’t really cherished like it should be and to look at our world today, that has made a real mess of things. I wish more people could have had the love lesson I had while raking leaves in my granddaddy’s yard on a Tennessee autumn day many years ago. Love God, love people.
“The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing, too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men. He loves us all with a mighty love that has no beginning and can have no end.”—A.W. Tozer
( LOVE prints from The Wheatfield on Etsy)