If we are going to correct in love, then we must truly understand it. Love is a concept that everyone from philosophers, psychologists, to theologians has tried to wrap their minds around. However, the average person off the street tends to view it as an emotion, regardless what deep thinkers say about it. This perception is true even within the church at times. Is that perception Biblically sound though? The Bible always portrays love as an action. The passage we just looked at in the last entry from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 does not describe how love feels, but what love does; or in some cases, does not do. Nor does it say we should only do, or not do these actions, when we feel it, but always. Yet, it goes deeper than that still.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
-1 John 3:16-18 niv
The above passage not only uplifts the virtues of action over mere words, it uses the rather intense imagery of laying ones life down for others. Love is more than an action, but love is a selfless action. Love is doing something for someone else's sake, rather than your own. This is an important detail that people often overlook. If love is treated just as an emotion, what is it about it that we really love; the people or just the feelings they provoke? For example, Physical love. It’s something that people tend to pursue from the people we claim to love. However, we often see this happen even when the other person is not comfortable with it yet. If we were really putting the other person first out of selfless love for them, then the idea of making them uncomfortable should be intolerable. Yet, still we see people tolerating this quite frequently. Why? Obviously, such people love the feelings they seek more than the person. They are doing what they are doing for their own sake, not the sake of the other. Which is by definition a selfish action rather than a selfless one. Which defies the Biblical definition of love. Like I indicated before, the actions that we chose not to do, are just as important as the ones we do.
It’s no wonder divorce is so common these days. If you live by the worldly definition of love as an emotion alone, what is to stop you from verbally abusing your partner when the feelings they instill in you change for the worse? Why shouldn’t you try to criticize your spouse into coughing up feeling for you when they aren’t doing it as you like? Despite the fact, that you might not have served your partner’s feelings any more than you are demanding them to. Despite the fact you expect them to serve your feelings, when you are walking all over theirs via criticism. The world tries to take love by dong the exact opposite of what the Bible says love should do. Yet, we wonder why it often gets the opposite result we’re looking for when we do as the critical world does. (Romans 12:9-21)
The Visual PARABLEist
The Visual PARABLEist
|it doesn’t matter when we get there, as long as we get there together|