“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Hollywood if full of love stories - anywhere from the Notebook, P.S I Love You, to Twilight, even Disney…you remember Enchanted don’t you? Hollywood has been consistently bombarding us with their idea of love… for too long.
Take a look at music. Think about Barry Mennello and Frank Sinatra, or if you want to get modern, Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis. All throughout time love has been a central theme.
At the same time, we are surrounded by love, it has lost the value it once had. It does not hold the same promise of loyalty and commitment it did before. Especially in our kids, it’s often based on a physical response that seems to follow the “easy come easy go mentality”. Ever tried to keep up with the number of crushes a 14 year old goes through each year? From the time you kids are toddlers, culture is teaching them that love can be bought and easily changes. Its so much more than the moonlit, foot popping kiss most females dream about.
Love did not always seem so easy cheesy. No, love meant something much more in a world much different than ours. You see, at one time in history was an expression of faith, Christian Faith. For years at the beginning of Christianity, love was a not-so-easy task and rightfully so. Jesus Christ, as the leader did the most sacrificial love thing of all. Not only did he love his enemies and pray for them, he did the most uncommon, unheard of act of love; he died for them. That’s a love that Hollywood cannot contain.
After Christ went to heaven, being a Christian in Rome wasn’t at all glamorous. It was brutalizing. From Emperor Nero who burned Christians alive in his gardens for his night time parties, to other who were thrown into coliseums to be tortured for entertainment. The Roman culture had no idea what real love was. Christianity, the practice of love, was not exactly an easy thing. To show true acts of love went against the “pride” of the Roman culture.
It was real though. Pure. Penetrating. Permanent. People recognized that this type of love was so real that even torture did not stop it from spreading. The more Roman leaders attacked it, the more people wanted to experience it. The rest is history as the Church continued to grow and eventually changed culture in Rome and around the world.
Fast forward to today. The greatest love story on earth is being silenced by the loud, obnoxious noises coming from our culture into your home, from your computer, your TV, and your IPOD. Slowly the greatest story becomes a ‘neat, interesting, emotional’ one. By escaping reality through mindless entertainment, too many Christians are choosing momentary comfort and ignoring God’s desire to reach out in love and change people’s lives.
Jesus had one mission, one purpose, and he left one as well; something powerful, commanding, and exciting at the same time- He told us to go and make disciples- He told us to go and change the world. What he was really saying was to go and love, “Show people my love, teach them about my love- let them see my love through you”. When the bible talks about love, it says that its patient, kind, it is not jealous, boastful, proud nor rude, its not irritable, and it doesn’t demand its own way.
Men, this is not just your typical fairy tale romanticized love; this is a bold love, a love willing to get you hands dirty if necessary to change a life and teach others to follow Christ. It’s the greatest challenge you will ever accept. You can’t say you follow God’s heart until you experience the joy in watching a person initially angry at God truly overflowing with joy as they choose to be a follower of Christ. It all started with one act of love. One act that changed the destiny of the world. What change can you bring today, tomorrow, next week, next year though one act of love?
Ron Luce is the president and founder of Teen Mania Ministries, a Christian organization reaching millions of young people worldwide. He passionately declares the Gospel through Acquire the Fire TV broadcasts, youth events, camps and media resources, challenging teens to take a stand for Christ. www.teenmania.org