Wednesday, December 07, 2005

On Love....

About a year ago, I read Buck-Naked Faith by Eric Sandras. It has nothing to do with being naked but everything to do with your relationship with God.

One of the things mentioned in there was St. Bernard of Clairvaux's (1090-1153) work on Loving God. In Buck-Naked Faith, he talked about the four levels of love for God and how each relates to the way you view God at the time.

The levels are:
  1. Love of Self for Self's Sake.
  2. Love of God for Self's Sake.
  3. Love of God for God's Sake.
  4. Love of Self for God's Sake.
I'll let you read either Clairvaux's "On Loving God" or find a copy of Buck-Naked Faith to better explain each. What I find interesting is how the lyrics of the music we listen to relate to these four items.

Much of what I hear on the typical radio station is all about me, me, me (Level 1).

On your typical Christian radio you hear a lot of "Level 2" love. I immediately think of "Amazing Grace" and "Just as I am". This is not bad but...

In much worship music you hear a lot of "Level 3". What comes to mind are songs I have recently learned like "How Great Is Our God" or "Holy is the Lord".

I don't know that I can identify any "Level 4" lyrics, can you help?


Anonymous said...

Just in living life I continuously bob in and out of levels 1-3. I can count on one hand the times I've been in a place spiritually that would be love of self for God's sake. I'm not sure why it's so hard for me. I can hear some people say, "You're just buying the Devil's lies". To some extent that might be true, but I think it's more along the lines of your previous post - I'm boxing God in.

When you realize the truth of Zeph 3:17 you're close to level 4.

Joel - great stuff!

Anonymous said...

I think this may be a Level 4 song - you tell me - Burn for You by Toby Mac. A very good love of God for God's sake piece would be Matt Kearney's Trainwreck. You can find the lyrics here: Very thought provoking post. I've never thought of the concept of different levels of loving yourself beacuse of God's love.

Joel said...

Thanks Kathy, good find... I think "Burn For You" could qualify!

I was also thinking of "Friend Of God" as a possible Love Level 4.