“Love hurts.”

Pop music said so. Sometimes we say so.

The Bible never said that.

The Bible, while acknowledging the sacrifice that is often involved in love — for instance the death of Christ — sees more than pain in love.

The Bible mostly focuses on the good, not the hurt, that comes from love.

Colossians 3:14. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

The Bible tells us love helps, heals and harmonizes. We need that today and everyday.

We may be the Tylenol generation, looking for pain relief, but the Bible prescribes it’s own a effective pain killer medicine and it isn’t a drug. It’s love.

A construction contractor came by church on Thursday to look at putting new flooring in room 5. This is where we hold our art class, Bible studies, support groups, REFINERY 101.

Cool because a church member donated $2,000 to do this. Who does that? Just up and says, “I’ll pay for a new floor. Christian people do.

Thats love!

Giving binds us together in a safe, beautiful place, in perfect harmony.

Love hugs us together. At a time when their are some pretty significant divisions in our country, we need that.

The Bible doesn’t say, “put on love so you can be bond to each other in painful relationships.”

The Bible says, “put on love that you may make beautiful music together.

Think of all the people who have loved you and the difference it has made in your life. Parents, kids, aunts and uncles, grandma’s, grandpa’s, friends, brothers, sisters, teachers, doctors, nurses

Their love is easy, good, natural.

Thinking that love will be hard, can cause us to hold back, to stay away from others, to isolate, to limit our relationships to just a few people.

For example, if I see love as hurtful, I might avoid avoid anyone I dislike or disagree with, and while it is true that relating to such people can become uncomfortable, uncomfortable is a small price to pay for connected.

Isolating brings a temporary feeling of safety, but that is not worth the loss in being alone.

God doesn’t want us to live alone, holding back, isolating. What hurts us most is not loving others.

This is important.

Think about it. The two greatest commandments of the Bible both involve love — love God, love your neighbor.

Being close to each other is at the core of God’s purpose for us.

1 John 4:7-8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

The most classic, basic truth in the world is that God is love.

Last week my wife Linda ran into a guy named Chuck Casto at her work at Point Loma University.

Chuck’s daughter, Sonja, died of cancer a few years back, she was 43, had kids.

So when Linda saw Chuck last week, she asked him, “How are you doing Chuck? It’s been a couple of years.” She went there.

And Chuck said, “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my daughter. The only thing that helps me is to know she is with God, and that God loves her more than I do.”

“It helps me to know that,” he said. “God love her more than me. That is what helps.”

When love hurts, love helps.

God is love and his love is the power that overcomes different views, disagreements, hurts, even death.

What is Christianity about?

Some people make their Christianity all about rules, or politics, or about Bible reading, or about spiritual gifts, or about signs and wonders, or about doctrine or discipline.

All good, but the Bible makes Christianity all about love.

When all else fails, at times when we fell separated from others, love helps. Love heals. Love keeps us warm, close, safe, satisfied, hopeful.

Last week, I asked my wife, “When did you feel most loved by me?”

She said, “When you came to the hospital and sat with me, and when I needed water and you went out and bought me some, and you had nothing else that was more important than being with me.”

It reminds us. Love is simple. As simple as water. Love is basic, memorable, accepting the other person, just being there.

It comes down to small, daily decisions.

Last week a friend called and wanted to go to coffee. We had trouble scheduling a time. Nothing seem to work.

Then I just made a decision. Pick a time that works for her, and just make it work for you. I choose to love.

We had a great time talking at Starbucks. She texted me after, “I always feel refreshed after talking to you.”

Love refreshes.

Sometimes it is so simple, a little time, just a shift of focus, away from ourselves, toward the other.

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

How?

Six simple ways.

1. Spend time together.

2. Be present.

3. Exude warmth.

4. Overlook differences.

5. Forgive the past.

6. Don’t quit

Loving hurts. I’ll give you that.

But not loving hurts more.

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