What’s Love Got To Do With It? Devaluing Its Meaning (1)

Is there a ‘trade deficit’ in the church? I believe so. Our ‘currency’ is being devalued on a daily basis and we are importing more from the world than exporting into the world at large. What is our ‘currency’? Love. As Christians, we move in love, flow in love, act in love – love is our life and love and life is in Christ. In Christ – this is the fullness of the very substance and essence of love. Love finds its consummate meaning in Christ in God, in the Trinity. Love IS God. God is love.

Love is not some nebulous vacuous word, constantly bantered about as if it can stand alone, outside of the very essence of love – God, in Christ, in Holy Spirit.

Love-And-Christian-Free-Wallpaper-Colossians-1-27-678x508In its very substance in Christ, love flows into the deepest places of despair while also confronting the ultimate platforms of arrogance, greed and pride. It moves in various ways, though unique platforms, and into diverse places through the lives of Christians who have Christ in them, the hope of glory. I see love in its confrontational strength destroying paradigms, shaking nations and uprooting people in pursuit of their greatest purpose in Christ. Yet, there is a war going on – the devaluation of love and its very meaning and outflow. Has the church lost the essence of love, true love in authentic Christianity?

This week, I am going to talk about love and its devaluation in western Christianity (of which I am a part) and how the world views love, somewhat askew and very distorted.  Follow along with me. I believe you will find the journey quite interesting. I do not propose to have all the answers. I do not want to be problem oriented. I want to put all this forth and seek the solution which resides in me as a Christian.  Perhaps this blog will cause you to think more than give you concrete answers. We all desperately need to learn to think, to reason and to walk in wisdom again.

The Light Goes OnHow did I even start thinking about this? Well, it all starts in my own inner stillness wherever I am, practicing His presence.  While sitting on the beach, watching people in Starbucks, or driving. Even in the midst of intense noise or chaotic circumstances. Not just observing, but actively watching people and discerning as the Spirit of God speaks to me about the current state of affairs in my own little corner of the world.

I kept pondering how the word ‘love’ is bantered about nowadays, yet in all this banter, there is little substance to it all. Have you noticed? How can you not if you are breathing? The very people, who say that they love you, leave you on a whim, in the blink of an eye with no prior notice. Or what about people who consistently say “I love ______” (fill in the blanks), without any substance to their words because when the going gets tough, they run like crazy in the opposite direction. There’s so many more examples. I am sure you are thinking of some right now.

Over the course of a few days, I sensed Holy Spirit opening my ears to hear. This little four-letter word is undergoing intense devaluation all around us. So I did some research on Google which tied some things together in my mind. I learned a few things about basic economics.

Here are a few facts in the natural that can easily be applied to the spiritual realm in my Christian life.

Currency devaluation (love for us) – a country allows the devaluation of its currency to drop in relation to other currencies. Hmmmm…………..I see the church at large devaluing its purpose under the guise of being more relevant or culturally acceptable all in the name of love, adopting the world’s standards along the way. In this process, loves loses its substance and strength in Christ alone. Love is strong, substantial and often confrontational in its essence.

Devaluation – a reduction of value and status. Hmmmm…what’s love got to do with this one? I paraphrase something I read –  “When one loses faith and trust in something or someone (Christ alone) one stops believing in it (Christ, His power, His anointing, Holy Spirit) and hence, doubt and self-reliance comes into play (leaving us searching for new techniques to attract people to our church or conference). And all in the name of loving people………….soft, sweet and syrupy.

A trade deficit ensues when a country imports more than we export. Hmmmm…I walk into so many churches that look to entertain in their quest to be relevant. What happened to the power of God in His kingdom dynamic flowing through the church? The norm – don’t offend, don’t rock the boat – let’s all be nice and love everyone, singing Kumbaya as we hold hands, smiling. We are importing the ways of the world to enhance a religious culture and in the process we are losing substance. Are we afraid to love? Looks that way to me.

Love is the answer. Real love. Authentic love. Love that confronts, challenges, gets messy, may offend and alienate as well as gather and build up. Love is multifaceted in its substance. Love is focused. Love is real.

I look to the problem and search for the solution in my quest for authentic Christianity. I don’t want to gripe or complain, yet I want to speak forth the reality of the current condition so that change my flow in Christ. Throughout the church at large, leadership is in flux – discouraged, depressed, compromising, losing vision and momentum. Stop trying to please man and live to please God. It all starts with love and its substance in Christ. There is a way out and it is in loving Christ alone. In Him there is life and in that there is focus.

My voice and inner convictions will shine forth, without trying to be popular or relevant.  I believe that after years of being forgotten, overlooked, rejected, and passed over I have finally stumbled upon a great truth.

When I have nothing to prove, I have nothing to lose.

I love and I love deeply and I see that it looks a lot different from how the world at large portrays love ( and maybe even the church). How does love play out in your life in Christ?

DebraIn Christ

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5 thoughts on “What’s Love Got To Do With It? Devaluing Its Meaning (1)

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  4. Hi Debra,
    You are certainly putting your finger on one of the “sore spots” in much of churchianity. I have come to almost quit using the word “church” in conversation and refer to congregations rather than churches, really choosing to hold that word “church” for the precious Body of Christ which we are told He Himself is building.

    Your thought of devaluing love would appear to rightly focus if love were a substance which of course most of us were taught it was, or a feeling, or even an action. I grew up as many of my generation holding “love” up as an ideal and measuring anything that fell short with words of judgement.

    You so often hit right on when you talk about in Christ, and Christ in us. LOVE IS….GOD IS…GOD IS LOVE. How often I find us separating love from Himself as if it were separate. I really like the emphasis you have written about Christ in us and us in Christ, and “walking in the Spirit”. When you put them up beside our teaching on Love..it must be the same. GOD is LOVE…therefore to walk in love is to walk out the very life of Christ in whom I live and move and have my being.

    I know I have made love fit according to my standards, even my “holy standards”…while I seeing that all that is just more “religious thinking”, fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    We truly are devaluing Love in this society and in the congregations across this nation and in much of the world because we have come to devalue GOD, the one and only True God as revealed in Jesus Christ. ISIS would say they are fulfilling the “love of God” by killing off all of God’s enemies in righteous indignation. But we know that that isn’t love and it isn’t the God who revealed himself in Jesus Christ.

    What you have shared sure is bringing up a really need awareness….I encourage you to keep on pursuing and writing as it surely is stirring up us who read your posts to see even more fully just what Love is. And if God is in me and He is love, what whole new mindset is necessary if I am to understand agape love!!

    • Thanks Meri for some incredibly awesome thoughts. I was just thinking about you and was going to ask how you were doing, so it’s great to hear from you. Holy Spirit has prompted my heart over and over concerning the topic of this blog. Love is strength, commitment, courageous, merciful, confrontive, challenging and so much more. Yet, I see a watered down version in the world and I see the same thing in the church. Love prompts change in all of our lives. My growth has come from sure strong love, not from people telling me what I wanted to hear. The strength in love, in words from people who actually care about you, still may sting but the rewards are great in the long haul, aren’t they? My reason for writing this blog is that I sincerely believe the church at large or more aptly, the Body of Christ which is better to say, hinders the release of the apostolic and the prophetic because the anointing that is released is one of change and change means honesty and growth. Again, we have experienced that, too. So much to say and I thank you and love your comments.

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