I was passing the rubbish bins on the estate the other day when I noticed a bag of rubbish with the words ‘Don’t waste love’ printed on it. I was at the time heading off to the park with the dog, but during our walk kept thinking about those three words. I asked myself ‘Can love be wasted?’. The more I thought about the words the more worried I became. It suggests that there is a limit on love and that it needs to be measured out and used carefully.
The famous play written by William Shakespeare, called Romeo and Juliet, has a quote which is similar. ‘ Don’t waste love on somebody who doesn’t value it.’
But this is wrong. Love is not in short supply, we do not need to be careful with how much we give.In fact the whole purpose of love, is that is given unconditionally and yes, even wastefully. That is how love works. It is only when we are generous with love, we see the healing that is possible when it is given freely.
God is the supreme example of love. The Bible is one long love story, the story of God’s relationship with his people, written down so others may learn and know of it. Time and time again, God loves his people and they reject him. If God followed Shakespeare’s advice about not wasting love on people who do not value it, then God would have given up a long time ago.
But John 3:16 writes that God loved the world so much, that he gave his only Son, that we might have life, life in abundance. It is only because God wasted his love on us, by giving us Jesus, by allowing us to crucify him on the cross so that our sins maybe forgiven, that we are who we are and that we are able to live our lives with joy and happiness.
I am glad God was wasteful with his love and that he was prepared and still is prepared to be able to be wasteful so that we might notice and come to know him as our Father in heaven. I pray I might also be wasteful with my love for those around me.