Love is the Answer; Not Loving Answers
The longer I’ve been a Christian, the more I wonder: is our faith centred on love, or on having answers? Sometimes in church, we can get to a place where our doctrines/beliefs replace our faith. We stop searching, stop learning, stop growing. Instead, we dig our doctrinal trenches and settle in to defend them. I am not against core beliefs or doctrines, but I have wondered, have we forgotten that Love is the answer, not loving our answers?
What Do You Know For Sure?
Many years ago, I was going through a season of questioning my faith. It was difficult at the time, but I’m grateful for it now. At the time, I thought I was losing my faith, but the truth is I was finding it. During one particular dark time of confusion, I was asking myself: “what do I really know for sure? Is there anything that I know without a doubt?” I thought about it, then opened my Bible to 1 Corinthians 13, and placed it on my piano. A melody poured out, and I was flooded with peace.
The Lens of Love
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2). This verse clarifies everything for me. It is the lens through which I view all other beliefs. It’s the plumb line for my life. Love is the answer, not loving answers.
The Fear of Being Wrong
Here’s my confession: I’m a recovering perfectionist. Growing up, I needed to be right. I didn’t dare put up my hand in school, unless I was sure I had the answer. There was nothing more scary for me than being wrong. I still have that tendency for sure, but my identity no longer depends on having the answers. To be right feels good, but I don’t want to find my worth in being right. As the writer of Corinthians said, what good is being right if I don’t have love?
The Relationship of Faith and Love
I don’t claim to know how to love, but learning to love is my priority. This is where my faith comes back in. When I was a teenager, I read the description of love in Corinthians chapter 13 and thought “yup, that’s me”. 😳 As if! No one measures up to that definition of love except God. Human love always has some self interest mixed in. But God is Love. I need God’s love in order to truly love anyone else. The measure of spiritual maturity is love. Let’s stop loving the answers, and remember that Love is the answer.