Another Way for Christians to Understand Love Outside of Commodification and Hallmark Cards

Another Way for Christians to Understand Love Outside of Commodification and Hallmark Cards February 14, 2023

Andrew Lang contemplative love-nature
Jez Timms/Unsplash

We have turned love into a commodity.

This is why we discuss it as something to be given and taken away, offered and held onto. Fully committed into an economy of goods and services, we have situated our understanding of love firmly within this framework.

But this hides the reality of what love really is.

Love isn’t something within a transaction, but rather the foundation for all purpose, relationships, and meaning-making.

It is the basis, the lifeblood, of all that is.

Jacob Boehme, the German philosopher and Christian mystic, once wrote “Let love be the life of thy nature.” In other words, let it be the essence of what we are and how we operate in the world, not as a gift to be given, but as the way we walk in the entirety of our lives.

When we think about our relationships, it isn’t a question of whether we receive it from so-and-so or who we choose to give it to; love is our true nature, the energy through which our true self manifests in the world.

And because of this, we don’t need to buy into the commodification and over-verbification of love.

So long as we live and breathe, the way we manifest our energy, our true selves, is the radiation of this love-nature. This is what the mystics and wisdom teachers of all traditions have sought to teach us in their own words, limited by time and culture: love is not a product to be given and received in the same way we would a present.

Love radiates from deep within our being.

And therefore, rather than spend our time searching for others who will declare their companionship for us and call it love, instead seek those whose energy manifests their true love-nature, those who sing the sound of the genuine (to borrow the words of Howard Thurman) out loud for the world to experience, and seek to become one of those people.

When we awaken to our own love-nature, our capacity to embody and radiate this energy, we have no choice but to open our eyes to the love-nature in others.

We no longer need to treat love as if it is a precious commodity; we experience love all around us, radiating in the way people listen, communicate, create, and care.

Want to begin engaging your inner work?

Connect with me on Instagram and through The Wednesday 1-2-3, a weekly email where I share 1 contemplative and embodied practice, 2 questions for your inner work, and 3 resources to step into your communities in new ways.

About Andrew Lang
Andrew Lang is an educator in the Pacific Northwest, an alumnus of Richard Rohr’s Living School for Action and Contemplation, and author of Unmasking the Inner Critic: Lessons for Living an Unconstricted Life. Along with writing regularly, he facilitates workshops helping people to navigate their inner lives and explore their sense of identity and spirituality. You can read more about the author here.
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