I have had an unfailing love for skateboarding for 13 years now, and as I look back on this love that has been such a big part of of my life, it is obvious that this love has costed me a lot. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on skateboards, shoes, and skate videos; it has costed me countless scrapes and bruises, a whole lot of rolled ankles, and a torn ligament in my knee. Although this is the case, since day one I have paid this cost with a smile on my face because I love it so much. And through all this pain and money, I have learned that all love comes with a cost. From a love for something like skateboarding to a romantic love, none of it is real or authentic until we have paid something for it, either with our money, our comforts, or our bodies.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” and Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst… He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” Now it is easy to tell someone that we love them, but one thing that we should always keep in mind when we say or hear those words is what did it cost? As we’ve seen in the pattern above, all love comes at a cost, and without it, love is not real or authentic, so if this God means what He says in these verses, than what did it cost Him? And the answer for the Christian God is obvious, it costed Him leaving His place of comfort and coming down to our level, taking on human flesh, and then to be gruesomely crucified by what He created. There are a lot of beliefs and religions out there that are competing for our faith and devotion, and whenever we come across one of them, we should always ask ourselves, “does this God profess to love and care for me? And if so, what did it cost Him?” When we ask these questions, we will quickly realize that the Christian God is the only one that has ever demonstrated a love that came at some cost to Him; the only God that has ever demonstrated a real, authentic love for his creation and His followers.
Love needs a cost in order for it to be real and authentic, and this is obvious in every pattern and type of love in humanity. The Christian God is the only God that has ever paid a cost and shown an authentic love for his people. As His followers, we should be able to return that costly love back to Him and to all people, for we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). The Bible puts it simply and beautifully in 1 John 3:16, “By this we know love, that He laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters.”