Why Do We Live Without Love?
by Mark Votava
I am finding that without love my life really has no purpose. God is showing me that I was created to become an expression of love in the world. It is that simple. But I am always wanting to make life more difficult than it has to be.
The other day I was sitting around a table with some friends and I found myself just listening rather than talking about myself. It felt good. I began to see the value and mystery in each person who was there.
It seems that the more I love the more I am seeing God in the ordinary moments of life. I coming to understand the importance of love, intentionality and listening. This is shaping me a lot. It is usually a mystery to risk taking the initiative to become an expression of love in everyday life, but when I live this way it opens me up to all kinds of wisdom and new learning about life.
- The intentionality of becoming expressions of love
There needs to be intentionality to our love as the body of Christ in the particulars of everyday life in the parish. Without some intentionality we will not become an expression of Christ’s love in our neighborhood. If we do not become expressions of love, our lives will struggle to find any sense of meaning.
- Working out our salvation
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence – continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).
- Our intentionality will guide our love
We need to work out our salvation as the body of Christ together through our love with intentionality and seriousness. If there is no intentionality, there will be little love to share in our lives. Our intentionality will guide our love for others in the parish. We need some discernment around what this will contextually means for us.
- Seeing the value and mystery in others
God’s will for us is to love and to work out our salvation together. Being intentional about our presence, listening and seeing the value and mystery in others is a starting point to this intentional way of love. Without intentionality, we struggle to be relational in all of life.
- The discipline of love
Without intentionality, we conform to the culture around us and thus lose the peculiar call on our lives. We become like a lot of people who live in our culture with little meaning and a lot of hopelessness. Working out our salvation disciplines us in giving our lives to become an expression of love in the particulars of everyday life together.
What are some ways we can become expressions of love in everyday life with intentionality?