Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved reading the news. I was probably the only middle school student in my school that read the newspaper cover to cover daily. As I grew, I increased the number of papers I would read. I went from reading the local newspaper, to reading papers that included national and world news. It always interested me as to what was happening in and around the globe. From politics to sports, it didn’t matter what was happening, as long as it was happening.
As I entered college, thanks in part to the internet, I was reading up to six different newspapers a day. Today, I don’t actually pick up a paper anymore (who really does anymore), but I certainly love to keep abreast of what is going on in this world. Whether it is social media or the news and print media, we have at our fingertips access to pretty much everything that is happening in our world within minutes of it happening.
Over the past several weeks and months, it seems like my news feeds are loaded with news of mass killings, terrorists attacks, the brutal killings of unarmed citizens, the calculated assassinations of police officers and the corrupt political system. My heart aches and cries out for the nation and world in which I live. Fear. Anger. Hate. Frustration. Hopelessness. Discrimination. Racism. Injustice. The list can go on and on. These all seem to be what dominate the headlines.
As I look at all of these things, I can’t help but ask myself, where is the love? Is this really the type of world that God intended for His creation? Now before you get your britches in a bunch, I am not saying that these issues aren’t important and don't need be addressed. They most certainly need to be addressed. They need to be discussed and solved. But the answer isn’t going to come from politicians in Washington or around the globe. The answer isn’t going to come from community activism. These may only play a part. I believe that answer will come when the body of Christ begins to move and act in love.
I could easily write a million reasons explaining why #LoveMatters, but allow me just a few points.
1. You were created in the image of God- In Genesis we see that God created man in His image. You were created in the image of love. Therefore, we need to show that image. You may say that was prior to the fall. At the cross, Christ saved us and restored our identity to us. 1 John 4:17b says: “…because as He is, so also are we in this world.”
2. You get to release the love of God to people - The whole world is looking for an encounter with love. You are that encounter! Jesus told his disciples that the world would know those who belonged to him by their love. You may be saying, “I don’t have the love to give.” If God is love and He lives inside of you then you have love. If you were created in the image of God, and you were, then you are the embodiment of love. You get to release love that you already carry.
3. Love is powerful- A little green man with pointy ears, who lives in a galaxy far far away once said, “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” (Yes, I quoted Yoda from Star Wars). There is truth in this statement. All we have to do is look at society and we see this lived out in our streets and cities. People afraid of each other, leads to anger against these groups, leads to hate and divisiveness, leads to mass deaths. Paris, Orlando, Baton Rouge, Dallas, Nice. All results of this process. 1 John 4:18a says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear”. Love has the power to stop this vicious cycle.
4. Love is the greatest gift- Love was a gift to us. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that he gave us His son, but, this gift wasn’t meant to be put on a shelf and stored away. We get to share it with others. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth that of all the spiritual gifts a person could have and operate in, love was the greatest. Without it, we just make a bunch of noise.
Love matters to God and should matter to us. A long time ago, before I was ever born, a group of long-haired mop tops came from across the ocean and shared this truth with us, “All you need is love.” (I had to throw in the Beatles) I believe that should we truly live this way, we will see the greatest move of God in this country and world. We will see His kingdom expanded and His glory manifested. Simply put, #LoveMatters.