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Extravagant Love

Love is a powerful emotion. It can be expressed both positively and negatively. It can bring pleasure and it can bring pain. It can cause us to spank our children, "because I love you" and to even murder a loved one as an "act of love." It is a very visual emotion that presents itself through images of hearts, and gifts flowers, chocolates, and diamonds. Movies and "chick flicks" are created to evoke emotions of love; and even entire television channels are dedicated to the feel good emotion of love. We change everything about who we are in pursuit of it, and feel lost and lonely without it. We express a need to be loved, and have difficulty understanding how to express it back to someone we love. We can love in both close and distant proximities. We can withhold our love to punish another, or through a simple touch we can elicit a lifesaving emotional response in newborns and the elderly. There's even a national holiday dedicated to love because we apparently need the reminder to love.

If this emotion is so vital to our existence, why do we have such difficulty understanding it's place in our relationships? How do we “fall into” and "fall out of" love so easily? What gets in the way of us giving and receiving this life energy that can bring us such deep emotional satisfaction and conversely bring us to tears in the depths of depression?

Jesus knew the power and magnitude of love and said,

"But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; the greatest of these is love"

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

The Message Bible translation of this verse restates that we are to "love extravagantly." I like that translation. It means to shower our love on each drench our entire being in love. What a refreshing concept; to be so fully submerged in love so that if we could shake like a dog, the love that flies from our body would splatter onto everyone in close proximity. But instead of annoyance, they too would feel the presence of our love on them.

My challenge for you today is that you learn to shake like a dog...and let your abundance of love bless everyone who has the privilege of knowing you.

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