What is Love? (Open Forum) – Gospel in Life

What is Love? (Open Forum)

Tim Keller |  November 19, 1995

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  • God's Love
OF 08


Whenever you really fall in love, you want to completely give yourself away. You want to just let all your defenses down. You want to be completely vulnerable. On the other hand, we also see love is continually letting us down because people are letting us down.

When you love someone, you’re loving a human being. That human being to whom you’re giving complete trust will tend to let you down. There’s something cosmic about love. There’s something, on the other hand, completely fickle about love.

Do you have a philosophy of life, an understanding of the world, that can account for all the various aspects of love, explain them and enjoy them? There is one model of love I’m going to call the conservative ideal. There’s another model I’m going to call the liberal ideal. Both of them don’t work. Then there’s another model of love which, I think, is the Christian model that pulls it all together.

1. The traditional view of love

We often hear that love will solve all problems and lead us to happiness. But the truth is, no person can save us from our troubles, so love doesn’t mean salvation. This helps us realize that even if we love someone deeply, it won’t always fix everything.

2. The modern view of love

Many young people today see love as a fantasy, preferring casual relationships over deep connections and openness. But this view misses the mark because it reduces love to just feelings that come from our brains, especially if we take God out of the picture. The traditional idea that love is the same as salvation also doesn’t work because of our human flaws. But the real, unconditional love we can experience tells us that God is real.

3. The Christian view of love

Christianity offers a different perspective on love and relationships. It tells us we all have a deep desire to be fully understood and loved unconditionally, which reflects our connection with God. It warns us not to treat people as if they can save us from all our problems. Only Jesus can give us complete satisfaction. The closeness we feel in marriage is just a small glimpse of the unity we’ll have with Jesus in heaven, and it helps guide us to lead our loved ones towards our heavenly Father.



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