Saturday, 7 March 2015

Where True LOVE Has Lost Meaning

There is the idea that God is Love. So taint the definition of love and you taint the definition of God.

The word love is highly over-used and misinterpreted in the English language … tarnished or contaminated. We teach our children not to say hate because it is such a strong, negative word, but we miss out on the importance of teaching them not to over-use love until it has lost all meaning.

"Love" is a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection ('I love my mother') to pleasure ('I loved that meal'). It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment. It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection—'the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another'. It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one's self or animals."

We use the same word to describe our feelings for a favorite shirt or meal as we do to describe our feelings for our children. We tell people we barely know that we love them. Love is also used to justify attachment, submission, or dependence.

This diverse uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love difficult to consistently define. Ancient Greeks identified four forms of love: (agape - self-emptying or divine love), (storge - friendship), (philia - kinship or familiarity), and (eros - sexual or romantic desire).

We will take a brief look at storge and eros love, but I want to focus primarily on phileo and agape love, which are the two types of love spoken of in the Bible.

Storge is a type of love that is natural, not forceda type of love or affection that one might have for family.

Eros is a passionate or sexual love (source of the word erotic). This type of love is important within a relationship, but it can also be abused, mistaken for storge love.

Philia or phileo love is a brotherly love, which is most often exhibited in a close friendship. Best friends will display this affectionate love for each other, seeking to make the other happy.

Since phileo love involves feelings of affection toward another person, we would not have this type of love toward our enemies.

Agape love is the most powerful and noblest type of love. Agape love is more than just a feeling—it is an act of the will and sacrifice. This is the love that God has for His people and that prompted the sacrifice of His only Son, Jesus, for our sins. Jesus was the personification of agape love.

God suggests that we have agape love toward everyone, including those with personalities that clash with our own; those who have hurt us and have treated us badly, and even those who are hostile toward our faith.

As we follow the path of God’s example for agape love towards our enemies, we will see them through the eyes of God.

"The time of Christ we celebrate together, for it has no meaning if we are apart. The holy instant is truly the time of Christ. For in this liberating instant no guilt is laid upon the Son of God, and his unlimited power is thus restored to him. What other gift can you offer me, when only this I choose to offer you? And to see me is to see me in everyone, and offer everyone the gift you offer me." (A Course in Miracles T-15.1.10)

I bless you, brother, with the Love of God, which I would share
with you. For I would learn the joyous lesson that there is no
love but God's and yours and mine and everyone's. (L-127)

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