The WHOLE Note is LOVE
Musical Term of the Day:
whole note - longest note commonly used; the basic unit of note values; A note/rest equal to two half notes and four quarter notes.
1 John 4:7-12, 19-21 [NIV]
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
BlogFam, a few decades ago, Whitney Houston recorded a song entitled, “The Greatest Love of All.” This song has a very positive message about what we should teach our children and how we should prioritize self-care. However, in light of our Scripture for today, I beg to differ on one major part of this song. Please read the following lyrics:
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all
My friends, the greatest love of all is NOT learning to love yourself. I do believe that we should love ourselves but I do not believe that self-love is the greatest love. The GREATEST love of all is recorded in our scripture for today:
“…God is love. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
Now that you have re-read these verses and putting them in conversation with Houston’s lyrics, we know that there is a major disconnect. Now, I understand that as a Pop Star, she is not bound to the strictures of theological accuracy in her lyrics. I will even admit that I like the song. I enjoy the song and have sang it on many occasions as a child. However, as I have matured in my faith and intellect, I am responsible for how I interpret what I read, write, say, or sing. And today, her lyrics may be a quarter note on the scale of the musical masterpiece of my life but they are certainly NOT the whole note.
In music, the whole note is the longest note commonly used and in our faith the longest, most complete, total, unabridged expression of love to us is embodied in the Original Composer’s identity and in the sacrifice of His Son. Our love for ourselves is not the whole note upon which our life turns. It is God’s love for us. Now, out of God’s love for us we are able to learn and grow in our love of self and in our love for others but PLEASE BE CLEAR, we do not love God or others because we love ourselves first.
Friends, before we even knew to love ourselves, God loved us in our mother’s wombs. Before we knew to love ourselves, God loved us before the very foundations of the earth. Before we knew to love ourselves, God loved us. AND God’s love for each and every one of us is whole. My sistas and brothas, the GREATEST love of all that the ONE who is love would create us as the objects of His deepest affections and would send His only sacrifice on our behalf because He loved us FIRST.
In this world of self-help and pop psychology, there is an abundant emphasis on how we look at ourselves. Our weight, our acne, our makeup, our jobs, our families, our degrees, our social networks, our possessions of the latest technology, our houses, our cars, and everything else we can SEE about ourselves has influenced the way we FEEL about ourselves, the ways we care for ourselves, the ways we love ourselves. AND unfortunately, we often have a twisted, staccato love for ourselves that impacts the way we love others and even the way we love God. This is why we cannot begin with self-love.
Love begins with God. Period. God is love. Love is God. And the love that flows from heaven to earth is WHOLE. It is not broken. It is not lacking. It is not prejudiced. It is not too sick, too short, too fat, too ugly. It is WHOLE. It is so far beyond all of the ways and words we use to describe ourselves and the relationships or situations we find ourselves in. Love begins with God. God’s love is the greatest love of all. AND we love God, ourselves, and our neighbors BECAUSE God loved us FIRST.
So, if you are struggling with how you see yourself, how you esteem yourself, how you love yourself OR if you are struggling with how you appreciate the value of your neighbor, it is because you have devalued the greatest love of all. Keep in mind - the Scripture tells us today that whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
BlogFam, we are only able to love God, ourselves, and our neighbors BECAUSE God FIRST loved us and if we allow our love and affections to grow with roots deep in the love of our God, we certainly begin to revolutionize the way we live our lives, see ourselves, love ourselves, love our neighbors, and serve our God!
Let us LOVE!
Black History Month – Quote of the Day:
Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color. ~Author Unknown
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