You aren’t unique in your sinfulness. Sometimes, I like to think so. I wallow in my failures. The truth is, however that we’ve all been there (Romans 3:23). There are times, however, when I like to imagine that I’m not so bad. I’ll say, “Well, I haven’t done that” or “I’m not so bad as this“.
The world wants us to forget our need for a Savior. So often I focus on the mercy of God that I let myself push aside His Old Testament nature; not just his wrath, but his justice. I delude myself into thinking that the God of the New Testament is only offering mercy and grace. No matter what I do, He will forgive me.
While that is true, I should still live my life with conviction. It’s not just about receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation whenever I falter. I should strive toward holiness, to sainthood, to lessening the times I sin not just the magnitude.
It’s easy to throw up a few Bible passages and leave it at that. All we need is faith and to stand upon our convictions and fall prostrate upon the Lord’s mercy (Romans 3:21-26). Just as it’s easy to say something like, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). But, do we ever stop and consider what that means?
It’s easy to imagine agape within God. Unconditional, perfect love is a recognizable trait for Him in what we can learn of His nature from the Scriptures. However, God embraces all four. He is all four at the same time. The perfect representation of C.S. Lewis’ book.
- Philia: He wants to be our friend. He loves us like a brother.
- Agape: His charity is evident. Regardless of how often we turn away, no matter the changes we make in our lives, He loves us the same.
- Storge: He knows what is means to be human. He loves us like a father loves his children.
- Eros: God longs for us. He pursues you like a lover. He entreats you, beckons you, woos you, and welcomes you into His embrace.
We may be one of those to someone and another to someone else. God, however, is all four to you at all times. It’s not an easy thing to understand. It becomes even harder as the world dilutes the meaning of love and promotes lustful desires in its place.
Let us look for a better way. Instead of loving as the world loves, let us strive to love as God loves. If I can show compassion to one more person each day, perhaps, eventually, the world will be a better place and peace will reign.