More Life Lessons from the Dog
Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.2 Kings 23:25
I have a confession that may be unpopular – I don’t think that I love our dog (Gasp!). He’s a smart, nice dog. I like him, but I do not have a tremendous emotional attachment to him. The odd thing though, is that he loves me and I’m pretty sure he thinks that I love him. I get him up every morning and I take him for frequent walks. I’ve done most of his training and I share my food with him as we have similar appetites.
From his perspective, I act like I love him. Conversely, there are others in our house, who have a profound emotional attachment the dog, but because they do not do as much for him, he will often snub them for me.
What then, is love? Is it an emotion or an action? Today’s passage seems to demand that it is both. In it, Josiah, one of the godliest kings of Judah, followed God with all his heart and soul. The evidence of his love was that he obeyed God’s law. Josiah’s love was both a heart-felt passion and an action. He felt love and showed love.
Emotion only, with no action to back it up, is artificial to the recipient. Love as a dutiful act without emotion or passion behind it, is a frigid apparition. For love to be real, there must be passionate feeling, followed by tangible action. One without the other is incomplete.
We may sing of our love for God on Sunday, but if we are addicted to ourselves the rest of the week, we betray our self-love. Alternatively, if we attempt to do for God, but it does not flow out of a genuine passion for Him, then we become Pharisees.
To truly love God, like Josiah, we must spend time with Him, receiving his love and then we must respond with both passion and action.