As I sat inside a small booth staring at the rain come down this afternoon, my mind turned to the phrase “Live. Love.” I pondered the simplicity of this phrase and soon found myself dissecting it to a deeper level. What did it mean to me as a Christian?
We have but one life, and we aim to live it to the fullest. A life lived is a good one, and a life lived for others is a great one. We are called by Christ to live for Him, to follow in His footsteps, and to give of ourselves to others. To give life is to live it, and to live life means we have much to give.
There is but one commandment in the New Testament, albeit in two parts. Simply put “Love God, and love others.” How dreadfully simple this commandment is yet how horribly we fail to keep it. It becomes all too easy to put ourselves first and let others fall to the side. Yet when we find ourselves compelled to pursue a genuine relationship with another, there is a wondrous transformation that takes place. We have this inexplicable desire to please them, to make them smile, to increase their comfort. Yet how can we do this without rejecting our primary commandment? This is the realization I came to after some time of contemplation, in picture form!
Do you see what I mean, how I came to this conclusion? Once you’ve found that significant other, the one who means the world to you, it is only natural you focus your attention on them above all others. Yet it is through them that we are to be drawn into a greater communion with God. As husbands, we are also told to put our spouses first at the cost of our other interests, loving them and protecting them. As wives, we are told to support our husbands at the cost of our emotions and strength, loving them and enabling them. This does not remove others from the picture, it just places them on a more equal standing with the self. To love another as one’s self is no easy task because it requires us to sacrifice a piece of ourselves in order to give to that person. Love isn’t something we divide between things, it’s something we add into the equation, multiplying life’s joy.
We are not called to be timid, calm creatures, mindlessly wandering with the herd. No, we are commanded to go out and testify to the glory of our Savior! If Christ gave all of himself to win our freedom, how much more should we be giving to show that to others? My pastor always ends our service with a single phrase containing more than your average dose of theology: “Go out, be well, be wise, and do good work.” However an explanation can wait til another time. As a Christian we roar our life story for all to hear, not scream it in someone’s ear. When the time comes, a soft-spoken conversation does more good for God’s Kingdom than a televised sermon preaching fire and brimstone and damnation.
So now what? Can I stand by the phrase “Live. Love. Loud.”? Maybe… But what I do know is that every day I try my hardest, and that is more than expected. For this I know, in this I have confidence, and by this I will stand.