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Whom or What Do You Love?

If you are not sure whom or what you love, just check out your checkbook. Look around your house at the way you decorate. You will quickly discern whom or what you love. It’s a vital question to ask yourself. It is important to ponder the object of your love for the sake of your soul.

Jesus said that all the commandments can be fulfilled by loving God with allyour heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). TinaTurner may have asked What’s love got to do with it? But God saysthat love has everything to do with it.

The second week of Advent is a strategic time to examine whom or what you love.The focus of your love will determine the health of your soul. There is onlyone way to have a healthy soul and that is to love God. If you do not love Godwith all your heart, mind and soul, you will love the world. You cannot havea healthy soul when you love the world. St. Augustine said that we either loveGod to the point of self-contempt or we love ourselves to the point of contemptfor God. Augustine doesn’t define self-contempt as a hatred of oneself,rather as a freedom from single minded focus on one’s selfish desires andpleasures. I think a better way to say it is that we either love God so muchthat we are free of our own self-focus, or we love the world so much that wehave lost a sense of God.

When you love God to the full extent of your human ability to love you will discoverthat you so completely trust Him that He could tell you the craziest thing andyou will be obedient. That’s the kind of love you see in Mary after theangel came to tell her that she was going to be pregnant with the promised Messiah.Mary is a perfect example for us of what loving God will do for a soul.

Luke 1:26-38 records this interaction between God’s messenger, Gabriel,and the young woman, Mary, the one who would become the mother to our Lord. SurelyMary could not fully understand the complete message the angel brought her thatday. Love doesn’t have to understand; what love needs is to trust. Maryshowed the love we think about at Advent. Mary’s words, May it be tome as you have said (Luke 1:38) can also be translated, I love you God.

When you love God, you think more highly of spiritual realities than physicalrealities. When you love God, you don’t get caught up in the appeal ofthe world. When you love God, you begin to notice you are not as focused on yourselfand your needs.

Love is an incredible emotion. Love can rescue your soul from despair and emptiness.Loving God and loving your neighbor the way you naturally love yourself is thegreatest experience this earth has to offer.

 

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