Is it possible that we could dedicate our lives to God, and yet gain nothing?
A few months ago, I met a reggae artist from California in the Miami International Airport. He had a smooth
voice, and believed in “love” or should I say “luv.” As he talked about how he got into reggae and what it’s like to do concerts in Brazil, he made an interesting statement:
“It’s all about love, man. I need to genuinely love those people [his fans] without an agenda and then they can see God.”
“Cool man,” I said, but inside I was rolling my eyes. Here is another reggae hippy talking about “love!” Next he will tell me about “peace” or giving “power to the people.” But I was wrong. Over the next five days, I got to hang out with Dominic Balli and watch him interact with the poor. I got to see his genuine love for children of any race or culture, and I got to see him perform for free.
At the end of the trip, he passed out boxes of free CD’s to all of the kids, and later told me that God wanted him to give away all of his music. When Dominic talked about love, it wasn’t the cheap hippy stuff, it was real. He lived it out. He genuinely cared about the people he interacted with.
Lesson #1 I’ve Learned While Writing
In a way, the topic of “love” has become cliché among Christians. We toss around the word as flippantly as the wind tosses around snow. There are books about love, songs about love, and the most quoted Bible verse of all time includes the word “love.” Instead of cheap hippy stuff, “love” has almost become cheap Christian stuff. So the danger of discussing love on this blog, is that we could skip over it and miss out on it’s vitality to the Christian walk. So bear with me. This is very important — it’s the foundation for 10 Days Without.
The main reason love is important is because that’s how Jesus summarized all of the commandments. Jesus said, “…love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” He then stated, “The second commandment is just like the first one, love your neighbor as yourself (paraphrased from Luke 10).”
And that brings me to the reason I am writing this post.
The Bible says, “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Cor. 13)
10 Days Without comes with a built-in warning: Unless real love is at the forefront of our desires to serve others, we could go through experiment after experiment, hardship after hardship, to find that we “gain nothing.” We could burn our bare feet on hot asphalt or get pneumonia from not wearing a coat in the winter, and find ourselves further away from God than when we began.
Really, without love, we could do anything for God and gain nothing.
But that leads me to another question: what is genuine love? Is there such a thing as fake love? Comment below and let me know what you think…