Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Authentic Love...

Authenticity; a word like most any other nowadays, that is thrown into the vast body of our daily speech, and like other words we say, we lack the desire to understand it fully. 
In its English form, it means to be "reputably undisputed".
Word etymology says "the word authentic implies that the contents it presents correspond to the facts and are not fictitious." It also calls it "genuine, implying that the reputed, credible author is the real one."

So then, what is authentic love? What would it mean to you to have an undisputed, reputable, factual, credible, genuine, authentic love? In all I know, I see only two loves to be "reputably undisputed", genuine, and authentic....1) My love for my child, and 2) God's love for His. In fact, I will go as far as to say that I attribute ALL authentic love to the divine, for it is certainly God's gift of authentic love for ME that has blessed me with my child.  

You'll hear the word authentic used to describe objects now and then. Things that are said to be authentic give us a sense of security in their worth. We want to be recipients of things that are authentic, because they hold the most value. So what can be said of a love that is not authentic? The antonym (direct opposite) of authentic, is counterfeit. I love the definition of counterfeit in the English etymology dictionary; It says "A copy; Something which is made with the intent to deceive. Not genuine;  the imitation of something superior."
It nearly stopped my heart to read those words. "Something which is made to deceive; The imitation of something superior." Love which is not authentic simply mimics and mocks the love of my Savior. I have been in situations and relationships where love was counterfeit. The pain and the anguish of recovering from a counterfeit love can feel impossible. The first blow to your heart is the end of something which YOU perceive to have been real; the second comes later when you realize that the love you had was never authentic, never genuine. 

There was an elderly couple shot in the Tucson rampage last week. Reports indicated that the elderly man shielded his wife from the gunman; he died in the process and his wife lived. 
It is my belief that love is self-sacrificing. Not by sacrificing your physical life necessarily, but in dying to selfishness every day and putting your partners needs ahead of your own. If a couple is able to die to self every day and put the other first, both partners needs are met and both feels that they are authentically loved.
The ultimate authentic love is the love of Christ. By dying for us physically, we were given eternal life, but I think this act is ultimately the greatest example to us of how we should be loving one another in His name.

I plan to continue the study of authenticity. There is plenty for me to learn. I don't know how to determine wether a love is authentic, except that it is blessed to us by God. I long for more authentic love in my life, as I think we all do; After reaching this conclusion I commit to accept nothing less. 


1 comment:

Manley Christopher Beasley said...

Great post. I think it's imperative for our love to reflect God's love. Not merely an imitation but redistribution of it. To truly love God and other people we must have God's grace. God has to give us love for Himself and others for it to be truly authentic. He commanded us to love Him and our neighbor (1st and 2nd greatest commands of the law). We cannot obey His commands apart from grace. This puts us in the position of desperate dependence upon Him to be able to obey. That being said, He loves to give grace!