"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
– John 13:35 (NIV)Daily Meditation: 1 Corinthians 13, Romans 12
At one time or another, we've probably all questioned the value of a relationship. Some of us have reached the point where the return on our investment in a relationship seems like it's the opposite of what we anticipated and hoped for. In all honesty, the pain, hurt, broken dreams, abuse, and even cruelty can weigh very heavily on our hearts. But I have never been able to forget these challenging words by C.S. Lewis:
There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
What a poignant picture of love! If we lock our hearts away, they don't bloom and flourish; they shrivel up and become cold. So let's "love one another" and let his light shine… and stay out of that casket!
"To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us."
– Tim Keller
Be fearless: That which has the potential for greatest joy also has the potential for greatest pain. Such is the power of relationships. We must choose wisely, but we should prioritize building and nurturing relationships.