There is a misconception that love comes from the inner recesses of the soul. Love is much more than fleeting emotion or something we fall into. Love is a choice. This may be difficult to grasp, or even to understand. Love often does not feel like a choice. We love our family and friends, and those we care for. We can also love ideas or policies, like ‘world peace’ or ‘Hockey Night in Canada.’ We often feel as though love is a reaction or response to some stimulus that renders us helpless and subject to its purposive effects.
But what if I were to tell you that love is the only choice? The rationale from a Christian perspective is simple enough: God is love, so you can either choose to live in Christ—His only begotten son who became His word manifest—or not. This, of course, does not mean that if one chooses to walk in love they are walking perfectly in love. It is a heart issue, meaning if and how your heart is positioned to receive and give love. One can only give away what one has already received; one cannot give freely that which one hath not. Once you come to the decision to love (meaning to give it away), God can replenish your soul. Hence my introductory statement on love coming from a deeper (and higher) place than the soul.
Jesus gave us a new commandment before He was crucified: to love others as He so perfectly loved us. “By this shall people know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). To the non-Christian, the rationale is less black-and-white. There are other theories floating about that are nicer-sounding, such as ‘karma’ and ‘energy.’ These, however, are not enough to require someone to live in submission to love. There has to be some underlying law, one which karma or tit-for-tat alone do not satisfy. The answer is a form of love that washes us, renews us, and redeems us.
The purpose of this collection of essays is to show you that living the love walk is the best decision anyone can make. For one, you will have more joy. This is guaranteed. If you are already thoughtful toward others, you will become abundantly generous. If you are sour, you will at least become tepid. Second, walking in love will better the lives of those around you. When you get on the city bus and the driver scowls at your ‘hello,’ it can undoubtedly affect your mood. Now here’s the thing: it should not. I will equate as to why at a later time. And finally, the love walk forces you to re-prioritize your life goals and reconsider whether you are currently living in the calling with which you’ve been called. Here’s a hint: it is usually whatever you’re really good at and benefits others, and also brings you joy. If you are a practicing journalist and you know you are instead called to astrophysics, you are not living in your calling. What’s even more, you are robbing other people of the opportunity to be blessed by your gift!
So, then, this is a short study on love as a necessary journey to discovery. If love is indeed a choice, let’s decide to take the faith we have and multiply it by walking together.