“Isn’t the principle inhibitor on our effectiveness, the fact that we’re dealing with a fiction? George Will on the ABC News Program, ‘This Week’ April 5, 2009.
Have you ever seen a person without the artfully applied layer of make-up that so many have become so skilled in applying and not recognized them without the mask? Some celebrities are known to use the unlikely cover of no make-up to appear incognito in public.
Interesting thought…especially within the context of a discussion about love. When love is artificial, does it count as love? Can we divorce love from the reality of truth?
This is the question we wrestled with in group discussion this morning. Aided by a revealing section on love from the book, ‘The Spirit of Truth’ by Arthur Katz and Paul Volk; we had a discussion about how Christian communication often obscures the truth about who we are and what we really feel. The authors have this to say about the resultant emptiness in life…
“We give each other bear hugs and say “God bless you” to one another, calling that love, and then go on pretending that all is well when all is not well. The gnawing hunger in our hearts persists. We begin by insulating ourselves from truth in order to protect ourselves. But we end by insulating ourselves from love.“
Wow, pretty potent stuff. In our search for true acceptance, the denial of truth costs us what we so desperately crave and long for. Love cannot be divorced from truth, nor will it flourish in an atmosphere which celebrates unreality, whether that fiction exits on a movie screen, within a relationship or in a house of worship.
Peter was very clear about the implications of being deluded by the lie that true love can exist apart from truth. Afterall, he experienced the limitation of his love and commitment to the Savior first hand and was challenged by Jesus about what was really in his heart when Jesus asked him several times about if he loved him. (John 21: 16-18)
When you think of what Peter went through and how that loving confrontation must have deeply impacted his heart, you see this instruction in one of his letters to the early church in a new light…
1 Peter 1:22 KJV “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.”
Jesus is clear about the life he intends to give us. It is abundant life, free and deeply grounded in truth. In our search for love without the truth, we condemn ourselves to a grey life; one which is in fast forward but devoid of the rich vitality which we long for.