“Love people. Use things.” – The Minimalists
What’s your favorite food? “Oh my gosh, I love tacos and guacamole, basically all Mexican food!” I also love writing, the beach, shopping, makeup, shoes, french fries, and summer. Do I really love all those things? No, but we’re all guilty of using the word love so flippantly. According to Merriam-Webster, love is: a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. None of these material objects or interests can actually be loved, yet the word is used so carelessly. Admit it. You say you “love” things so often without even thinking about it! Let’s really think about how we use the word love.
I love guacamole, french fries, and popcorn.
I’ve said it so many times, even about the above items. “I love guacamole so much. I need some guac.” “I’m craving french fries and could really go for some right now.” “I love popcorn so much. I’d go to the movie theater just to get the popcorn.” I’ve been guilty of saying all of this and wrongly using the word love in relation to food.
It’s common to use the word love to describe food you are very fond of, but do you think anything of it? At the very least we should change love to like or enjoy, but the problem runs deeper. The problem is we are placing such a great importance on food and instantly grabbing or stopping to pick up the food we like best or crave. Instead, maybe we can stop ourselves each time we say we love a specific type of food, restaurant, or meal and think or pray about WHO we really do love in our lives.
I love shopping, handbags, and makeup
I would consider myself quite enthusiastic when it comes to all things clothes, accessories, makeup, beauty and skin products, shoes, even journals, pens, stationary, and anything of the like. I’ve been overly intrigued by these things since I was very young, and it’s only gotten worse.
I try to catch myself, when I say I love clothes or “I love those shoes, they’re so cute!” Yes, I get so excited by any of these items, but they are just items, material objects, not something to love. We can indeed have a huge or even extreme fondness for something, but try to remember it is a hobby or interest. Fashion and makeup can be an interest, and many make a living on blogging about those items I just mentioned! What they love, however, is hopefully their families and friends, not the material possessions.
I love to travel
Who doesn’t “love” to travel? I don’t know many people who don’t like to get away and have a much needed, wonderful vacation. Again, you don’t love to travel, but most likely it may be one of your favorite things to do more than anything. We shouldn’t confuse our favorite interests and activities for love. Yes, maybe you travel all the time and go all over the country or world, but still, you don’t love it. Love your family. Love your friends. Show love to other people you may struggle to show patience or acceptance.
This idea ties way back to the Bible. It’s not just something we hear. It’s an actual teaching in the Bible, in our faith. Even if you’re not someone who has faith or believes in God, I ask you to read this verse from Timothy with an open mind.
“For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains. – 1 Timothy 6:10.
As a Catholic writing this, sometimes it admittedly makes me feel like a fraud to say I often catch myself saying I love any of the things I just mentioned. It especially makes me feel like a hypocrite, as I write this post on the topic and read the verse from Timothy. It’s one thing to catch yourself using the word love the wrong way so often, but it’s even harder to take the steps and action to place less enjoyment and value on money and material things. It’s hard for so many of us. I think admitting I’m also guilty of this and struggle with valuing and focusing on things which shouldn’t matter. We’re all flawed. We’re all human.