What does Love Have To Do with It?

Love has everything to do with all aspects of our life. It is key and essential when we talk about “Building the Bridge Together.”  We can observe all of the correct practices and principals of our diversity programs; however, the love aspect of the multi-ethnic unity is undeniable and must not be discounted.

As we begin to explore this subject, the age old question arises; what is love?  Many poets, writers and philosophers have tried to capture its essence; others have tried to pass it off as emotionalism; and some scientists explain it as a chemical reaction, a dopamine rush or oxytocin effect.

One thing we do know, there is an unknown force that keeps every electron in perfect orbit around every atom. This force is also a tangible, yet invisible force holding every neutron and proton in place. Some observations explain that pi-mesons may be the energy holding things together.  This is totally invisible; it can’t be seen, felt, tasted or weighed… but the force is there!

Love remains that mysterious force that draws people together; or why would we spend so much time singing about it, thinking about it, reading and writing about it?  Love also, is totally invisible; it can’t be seen, felt, tasted or weighed… but it is there!

Scripture says that God is Love

My beloved friends let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.”1 John 4:7-10Message (MSG)

Real love only exists in God; the kind of love that makes a difference.  Among those in our world, believers inclusive, the natural tendency of human nature is that of division rather than unity. Ethnic contention, at its root is cultivated out of an atmosphere that is void of love.

As stated earlier, we can frame the discussion of unity in diversity out of any context available. However, we lose without any virtual quality that is characteristic of genuine love. This is the kind of love that Builds Bridges and tears down walls. We will never achieve real love if we defer to human nature over God’s nature Gal 5:16.

 “My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!”1 John 4:11Message (MSG)

Love is God, becoming the agent that will provide integrity to the structure of the Bridge that we are building over the ethnic/cultural divide.  What does this love look like? First of all we must understand that there are several kinds Love mentioned in the bible.

Two of the main kinds are Phileo, or brotherly love as in Philadelphia, and Agape love.

Phileo Love – Phileo love is a love of the affections.  It is delightful to be in the presence of another, a warm feeling that comes and goes with intensity. The Bible encourages it but it is never a direct command. God never commands phileo since this type of love is based on the feelings. God Himself did not phileo the world but rather operated in agape love towards us. One cannot have a warm tender feeling toward an enemy but one can agape love them.

Agape Love – Agape love is God’s love, seeking the welfare and betterment of another regardless of how we feel. Agape does not have the primary meaning of feelings or affection, agape love is unconditional.  Jesus displayed it when He went to the cross and died for you and me regardless of how He felt. In the gospels Jesus prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt. 26:39; Mk. 14:36; Lk. 22:41-43; Jn. 18:11). Jesus sought the betterment of you and me, regardless of His feelings. Matthew’s Gospel states it this way, “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

This love for a brother is a natural inclination when speaking of siblings and those who are ethnically homogeneous to us.  To love across the cultural divide takes an Agape kind of love because it rests squarely in the hands of God. This supersedes “ethnic cataracts,” ethnic post traumatic syndrome or just plain racial hatred associated with human nature. 

“Building the Bridge Together” does not happen on a “fuzzy wuzzy emotional whim.” A bridge does not appear by osmosis, it must be constructed. We must be intentional in our bridging reconciliation and ultimate unity. This happens through intentional appreciation, valuing and investing in those on all sides of the ethnic/cultural divide.

Kevin K. Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

One Response to “What does Love Have To Do with It?”
  1. Karen R. says:

    Amen! Well written exposition!!

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