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Love & Courage

posted Feb 8, 2014, 10:05 PM by hbchurch org

Can we fully comprehend every dimension of love? Its doubtful, but we keep trying. One technique frequently used involves paring love with other traits. Although we may still want to know more after such an exercise, at least we will understand that true love is more than hearts, flowers, and candy. How can we accurately measure our love? Jesus’ commendation of a woman in a crowd of dinner guests will help us.

He said “...she loved much” (Luke 7:47), but what did “much love” do? She had entered the house of a Pharisee named Simon who had invited Jesus to join him and his guests for a meal. While Jesus was reclining at the table (their customary posture), she wet Jesus’ feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair, and anointed them with a very expensive ointment. Her actions required an enormous amount of courage.

She was a renowned sinner (maybe a harlot). Although it was culturally acceptable for strangers to enter another person’s house on occasions like this, her reputation would have caused most to shun her in public settings. However, her love for the Lord exceeded her fear or sense of shame. Furthermore, wiping His feet with her hair was a profound expression of humility. Finally, the ointment she poured on Jesus’ feet was worth a lot of money. Although the magnitude of love cannot be measured in dollars and cents, her act brings to light the sacrificial nature of genuine love. Ardent love is willing to give anything to demonstrate its sincerity. Her acts of love took a tremendous amount of courage. “She loved much”!

Our culture has cheapened love to the point that many now feel honored when they simply hear the words “I love you”. Cards, candy, and flowers are bonuses, but that kind of love takes no courage. That’s a “bargain basement” variety of love that has infected our most precious relationships, especially our relationship to the Lord.

Consequently, its easy for people to say they love the Lord, but actions that demonstrate it are often meager at best. Why? Have we forgotten how much we need His forgiveness? Has pride blinded us and erased the last vestige of humility from our hearts? Does the value of our collection of precious ointments mean more to us than spiritual treasures? Courageous love has become exceedingly scarce, but we can change that. We can decide to show this benumbed world the difference between true love and the wimpy version our culture finds comfortable. We can do it IF we want to and IF our love is coupled with courage. Heed these two admonitions: “Be strong and let your heart take courage...” (Psalm 31:24), and “Let love be without hypocrisy...” (Romans 12:9)        Ken Dart