A Blog dedicated to exploring the wisdom found in the timeless writings of C.S. Lewis
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
On Growing In Love
"When I have learnt to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now. In so far as I learn to love my earthly dearest at the expense of God and instead of God, I shall be moving towards the state in which I shall not love my earthly dearest at all." C.S. Lewis, Collected Letters, Volume III.
Have you ever thought about your motivation for loving someone? I think the common belief is that it does not matter why we love people, as long as we love them. What C.S. Lewis is saying in this quote, however, is that we always must be aware of our motivation for loving others. That may sound strange until you realize that if we love others for their own sake, they become our idols. No person can take the rightful place of God in our hearts. Let's be honest, however. We all have a tendency to love people in such a way, to idealize them to a point where it becomes unhealthy. In the end, however, people will always fail us; God will not. And in the end, if we are not growing in our love for God, our love will become stale and even die.
Also, as we properly fix our eyes on God, it will allow us to more effectively love those around us. It will be a truer love, one that is not dependent on the other person, more pure. It will be a stronger love because it will overcome fear, bitterness, and anger. When we are trusting God to love us and protect us, it frees us to love without condition or fear. Love never fails...as long as He is the source of our love.
Do you want to grow in love? As Christians, that should be one of our strongest desires and fervent prayers. We must always realize the proper source of our love, however, namely, we love because He first loved us. That phrase --"we love because He first loved us"--applies to other people just as much as it applies to loving God. In other words, our ability to love others should be grounded in the realization of how deeply God loves us. If we are growing in our knowledge of God, growing in our love for those around us will be a natural byproduct.