True Love is Fierce

“For the love of Christ compels us…” II Corinthians 5:14

The meaning of the word “compel” in II Corinthians 5:14 means to be held in a tight constraint. It gives us the idea that God’s love grips our hearts so strongly that all we want is to live for Him and to reach out to others. Because God’s love is so fierce, or intense, within our hearts, we find ourselves driven to serve God and people. This is no other option that we would consider. We are in the grip of God’s love.

God’s love is relentless. It’s like watching a running marathon where all the other competitors finish at a stopping point, but God’s love keeps going incessantly. Not only will it not stop; it is sustained without breaking. Human love seems to have a stopping point, but not God’s love. His tenacious love seems to have no end. His love seems especially persistent when we fail Him; it’s a crazy love. His love won’t stop until it wins our heart. There is nothing that can keep Him from coming after us – this is the love placed our hearts that causes us to keep reaching out to others.

God’s love is excessive. It’s like watching a reality television show where they build a new home for a family in need, a home that would take their lifetime to pay for. As if that wasn’t enough, then the benefactors furnish the home, pay off the recipients’ debt, and set up a fund for education or a small business. To receive these extravagant gifts one after another is overwhelming – that is like the lavish love that God has for us. His love is so extreme that it feels like a flood has rushed into our heart, and we’ve been overtaken. God puts no restraints on His love. There are no limits to it. God is not only rich in love; He is ridiculously generous with it.

It’s a love that deserves to be cherished. Just because God’s love is consistent does not mean that it’s a love to be despised or taken lightly. Just because God’s love is unconditional, it does not mean that God’s love should be taken advantage of. If someone is unable or unwilling to change addictive or abusive behavior, he or she will often pursue or hold onto the love of an enabler or someone who is subservient. Although God’s love is forgiving, God is not an enabler or a pushover. For His love to be received, God requires complete surrender. God’s love is a love that we should allow to penetrate our heart and saturate our being in such a way that it becomes a part of who we are. God’s fierce love gives us the motivation and the ability to love others with a love that is true.

Application: If you are in a relationship with someone who is struggling with addiction or abusive behavior, the love of God would endorse abuse or encourage addiction. Ask God for discernment.

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