What is the price of love?
That’s been the question floating around in my mind for the last week or so. When God created the world, what did He mortgage in order to allow for love?
For many, God didn’t mortgage anything. They say today’s world is exactly the way He intends it to be. Perhaps that’s true, but not in the way those people probably mean it. If intended means everything that has ever and will ever happen is what God wanted, I’d adamantly disagree. You won’t get past the first book in The Bible before finding a God who is frustrated with Men. Go past that first book and you’ll see it much more. Clearly, God doesn’t get what He wants all the time. We could check today’s news for evidence of that.
But if by intended we mean something beyond God’s frustration at mankind’s behavior, then we may be onto something. If by intended we mean God chose to put up with a little bad, a little frustration, in light of some greater good, then I’d say we’re closer to correct.
Reading “God doesn’t get what He wants all the time,” may cause you to squirm in your seat. A statement like that may mess with your idea of how a God who is in control, a sovereign God, might go about His business on Earth. Perhaps you feel such a God would micromanage the comings and goings of all things in order for it to work to his desires. Personally, I don’t think micromanagement is a good managerial tactic, for God or otherwise.
If we’re all honest, though, we can admit that many things happen that God wishes didn’t. Many evils and injustices occur that God prefers not to witness. And yet, in the face of a sovereign God, those evils and injustices happen anyway.
Why is that?
Who knows? The definitive answer to that question is probably far too involved for any of us to comprehend in full. But we might begin with this line of thinking. From now on, when someone asks me, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” or “Why is there sin in the world?” I’ll answer with one word.
Ironic, really, when you think about it. Especially considering that such questions are often asked by cynics seeking to prove God does not exist, or that if He does, He doesn’t care what happens down here.
Still, love is the answer. In fact, I’d even say that evil is the price of love.
I’ve been known to say, “You don’t really know if you love someone until they give you a reason not to love them, and you go on and love them anyway.” In other words, true love reveals itself most fully in adversity. Love shines brightest when, despite having reason to hate or despise, one chooses to wait and to love. It’s in those moments that love is most honest, most undeniable… most true.
The Bible teaches that God created Man to love Him. But what is love without freewill? And what is freewill without choices? And where is the power in choices if they all end well? Love needs freewill. Freewill needs choices. And choices need both good and evil results.
The consequences and effects of evil must be allowed to work out, else God would “cut the legs from beneath” goodness and truth. If God nullified all the negative results of bad choices, then what would be the real difference between good and evil? How could love be tested and proved? Without evil and its effects, there is no real choice for love, no chance for the needed discomfort of sacrifice and selflessness that true love requires.
Pain and discomfort are often the vehicles of the love, the broken ground in which love’s seeds die, grow, and flourish.
So now the question is: Is it worth it?
Is love worth the evil that seems requisite for its existence? Is it worth the discomfort, pain and death? You tell me. But sure as I’m typing, no pain = no love.
I’m reminded of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam:
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Do you agree that evil and pain is the cost of love? If so, is love worth it?
Latest posts by Antwuan Malone (see all)
- Courage in the Face of Persecution [sermon] - November 28, 2015
- 3 Strategies For Culture Change - October 28, 2015
- Four Lessons I’ve Learned From Serving In Young Adult Ministry - July 20, 2015