Have you ever Googled the word “love”? If you did, you may have come across something called the Love Calculator. It is a website where you can supply two names, and the percentage chance of a successful relationship is calculated. Curious, I entered my name and my wife’s. Twenty percent! I hope my wife doesn’t read this!
I then decided to add my name and God. A whopping 13 percent! Then for the last attempt, I put in my name and Jesus. A very disappointing zero percent! Am I that unlovable? Of course, then I read the small print at the bottom of the page: “Please note that this site has no serious intention whatsoever.” Shocking!
The truth is, the modern world increasingly seems to have no real idea what love is or how to determine when love is real. That makes the seemingly simple words of Jesus about loving God and your neighbor very complex indeed. How can you love God with your all your heart, soul, and mind when you have no idea what the act of loving means? And then, what constitutes loving a neighbor? To make it more complicated, Jesus commands you to love them like you love yourself. I bet you can agree with me that there are a lot of people out there who do not even come close to loving themselves. Knowing what love is in modern times is just not that easy. How is a wellmeaning person able to find out the true meaning of love?
You don’t know what true love is? I think you do. Turn your eyes to that crucifix hanging in your church, home, or office. The answer was given over 2,000 years ago, and the image remains for the entire world to see.
Tracy Earl Welliver is currently the Director of Parish Community and Engagement for LPI where he manages the company’s coaching and consulting efforts. He has spoken on and coached dioceses, parishes, and individuals on stewardship, engagement, strengths, and discipleship all over North America, Australia, and New Zealand.