Day 1: We’re Compelled to Love God’s Family – Because God Loved Us

Verse: “Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” — I John 4:11 (NIV)
Theme: Life is about learning to love.
[Read More] thoughts on Day 1 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community.

I was really struck by today’s theme, as it resonates so strongly with my philosophy that life (and happiness) center around love:

The happiest people in the world
are those who can enjoy doing good for those they love
and are appreciated for it

However, I hadn’t made the second connection: that life is a process of learning to love. Yes, I realized “Love is a feeling to be learned.” And, I’ve always believed that Love is the point of human existence. But, I never quite put the two together like that. That is, the idea that everything we do in life, everything that happens to us, is simply raw material for the process of learning to love.

It seems so blindingly obvious — everything in our biology and art screams it at us. Yet, somehow, popular philosophy completely ignores it. Western culture tells us its all about “me.” Eastern culture says its all about “duty.” Both miss the point. Yes, love is a duty. Yes, love is what makes me happy. But, love is not the means, it is the end. I find my fulness in love, not vice versa.

Prayer: God, help me learn to love. Make me a love-learner, that seeks out every opportunity — that sees every experience — as a chance grow in my capacity and skill as loving. Bless the words of my hands* and the works of my mouth, that I may bring life, health, and healing to those I encounter today. Use these 40 days to reorient my life around Your love. In the name of Him who loved me unto death, Amen.

*I share more words via email than conversation, hence the inversion of the traditional form.