In The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor
Dostoevsky wrote, “I am sorry I can say nothing
more to console you, for love in action is a
harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in
dreams.” He went on from there, but that
fragment serves to express what many think
when the term “love” is used. Much has been
said—and written—about love, of course. Love
hurts. Love stinks. “Love is a smoke and is
made with the fume of sighs” (Shakespeare).
Love is many splendored. Love is a battlefield.
Love is blind, etc. Yet much of what we are
exposed to regarding love is terribly far from
biblical reality, and thus also far from truth.
According to scripture, love is a
responsibility that has the power to overcome
even the bleakest circumstances. Love is the
absolute answer to the ills of the world. This is
not a love that concerns itself with the physical
and temporal, mind you. Rather, this is a love
that transcends the boundaries of human
wisdom and effort. It is a love that is modeled
by and learned from Jesus Christ. It is a love
that minimizes self in order to lift others. It is a
love that does not cry out for what it wants, but
instead cries out on behalf of what others need.
It is a love that overwhelms all forces that might
threaten to destroy. It is a love that is eternal
and God designed. It is the true love that we
have learned from our holy and perfect God.
When we find ourselves in dismal
circumstances, and we do not know how to
respond or where to turn, the best course of
action we can take is to love. “Love does no
wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the
fulfilling of the law.”