Love is arguably the strongest force in the universe – but love is a choice. We can choose to love or choose not to love. The possibility of love is built into our nature, but is not automatic. We are not robots, mindlessly obeying instincts. In a universe, ruled by the laws of physics, voluntary love stands out as distinctive. In a creation full of random events, love is not random but is a deliberate choice. That is why I say that love is the strongest force in the cosmos.
The image of God
The Bible tells us that we were made in the image of God.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
… and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
We could discuss how separation from God diminishes the effectiveness of that image, but every man, women and child has the image of God, stamped upon their very being, built into their DNA.
God is love
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
John says that God is love. It is his nature. He loves everyone in the world, and everyone who has ever lived. He loves us unconditionally; whether we are good or bad, whether we respond to that love or not. He demonstrated that love by sending Jesus to live among us and to die for us.
God has given to mankind the ability to choose. We can choose to love or the opposite, which is indifference, hatred or selfishness. It is our choices which set the course of our lives. To some extent the choices other people make also determines what happens to us.
For many of us, love is fairly natural between spouses and between parents and children, though we see the destructive power when love fails. Love for God though, and love for our fellow human beings (our neighbours) is not natural but is a definite choice.
It is that choosing that makes love possible. It we were robots, caring would be automatic. For love to be love, there has to be a choice – freewill.
Changing the world
Imagine a world totally motivated by love.
- A world where people looked after the poor, the aged, the lonely, the disadvantaged and the weak.
- A world where economics was based on the good of all, not upon selfishness.
- A world where scientific endeavour was focused on solving things like disease, earthquakes and famine, not upon war, and weapons of war.
- A world where people lived in harmony with our God our creator and lived in harmony with creation.
Am I being idealistic? I don’t think so. Paul looked forward to a such a day.
For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. (Romans 8:19 NLT)
Jesus himself taught about the Kingdom of God being here on earth.
“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NLT)
Love can change the world. Loving God and loving our neighbour is the key to changing this sad old world of ours, into a place where all know real peace, security and love – the Kingdom of God. A kingdom where God rules, not by force, but only by the free choice of love.
Love is the strongest force in the universe – and we can choose it!