By Trent Pelham
Does love really exist? That may seem like a silly question. I certainly feel like love exists. You may, too. Do you love someone? Can you prove it? I don’t think you can prove that you love someone. If you can’t prove it, then isn’t it fair to say that it doesn’t really exist? This is how I feel talking about God sometimes.
God is a lot like love in this way. In fact, Christians believe “God is love”. This helps us better understand something that we cannot fully understand. Clearly, not everyone believes this, but even the theist and atheist tend to agree on love.
I’m no expert on atheism, or on God for that matter. My atheist friends tend to be a lot smarter than I am. They tend to rely almost exclusively on scientific evidence in terms of what they are willing to believe. Yet they believe in love.
Science has taken on the bigger issue of trying to prove that love exists, but has since moved on, concluding that love is a feeling and feelings cannot be proven. They further concluded that while love cannot be proven, we can observe the behaviors and actions of individuals that are said to be in love as evidence of love.
Science is drawing a close parallel to the Book of James here, where James uses a similar comparison about one’s faith in God. Science and book of James appear to be in agreement in this context. The existence of love and faith can be established through our actions.
Why do so many people seek love? Maybe they want more out of life. Maybe they want something more fulfilling. They may want to feel loved, and they may want to give love. And yet there is no proof that this thing they seek even exists. However, they believe it exists most likely because they observe the actions of others. Or is this just a natural human instinct and not really about love at all?
Sadly, there are some people that do not believe in love. They most assuredly wouldn’t believe in God either. You probably wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on love. Based on your own experience, you may think their lives would be better if they had love.
If you felt strongly enough about it, you might even try to convince them that love really does exist. You might start by talking from the heart about how love makes you feel. You might try to get them to open their heart and mind and give it a chance. You might ask them if they already have some of the characteristics of love. For instance, would they describe themselves as a caring person? Love is caring. Are they kind? Love is kind. Are they compassionate…? If they are these things, they may be living closer to the way God wants us live than they realize. They may be living more Christ-like than they realize.