Lover or Loser? Not for the faint-hearted.
Love is in the air! And when love's in flight, it's the best thing since sliced bread. On the other hand, love can make you feel like a real loser. But if it's really love, why DOES it feel this way? (Throwback to New Edition) I'll tell you: Love flows in just one direction - from the giver to the receiver. It never seeks the same in return. So if you are loving someone who doesn't love you back, does that make you a lover... or a loser?... could be both.
The Apostle Paul wrote his own Valentine in 1 Cor 13:4-7, 8a
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (ESV)
So THAT'S what real love looks like! If that's true, what does it look like ON YOU? My guess is, it might make you look real crazy... maybe even look like a loser.
Everything about love says sacrifice. Be patient. Don't look out for your own desires. Persevere. It doesn't say, "When things look hopeful, you should hope". It just says love ALWAYS hopes. Consider the mother's love for her child in 1 Kings 3:16-28. A prostitute staying in a home with some unseemly characters was caught in a dispute over her newborn son. During the night, another woman's child died so that mother switched babies with this woman. When the innocent woman awoke to find the dead child, she took the matter to King Solomon. His answer was simple, but crazy: Slice the living child in half and they can each still be with the child. The lying woman was like, "Fine, if I can't have him she won't either" but before she could finish, the real mother (whose child had been stolen) declared "No! She can have the baby - don't slice him". She was willing to let him go if that would save his life. King Solomon returned the child to his rightful mother, because he recognized Love between the mother and her real child.
Love always has some element of risk, doesn't it! Well it's no different with God. In fact, He's a little more extreme at times, the passionate lover that He is:
"Whoever loves his life, will lose it and whoever loses his life (for Christ's sake) will find it" John 12:25
So go ahead. Love fiercely... Love unequivocally... but be ready to take a loss for the sake of love. A hopeless romantic put it this way. "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back it's yours to keep. If it doesn't it never was."
Perfect love would re-write that ending just slightly to say, "If it doesn't... don't hate. Just love it right by letting go." What will you let go of, for love?