Thursday, January 19, 2012

What is Love?

What is love? Let’s not confuse the issue too much. Let’s focus on agape. The others are fairly clear. The KJV translates it as charity. It gets interesting when we look at 1 Corinthians 13:3. “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor…and have not charity, it profited me nothing.” It is interesting because we are commanded to have charity. In reference to the love a man has for a woman, it is intentional love. But here, it appears that we can give our goods to the poor and still not have it.

Fortunately, Paul defines it for us. “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” It is still intentional. You have the choice of being long-suffering or not. You have the choice to be kind or not. You have the choice to do all of these things or not. And if you choose charity, it will be natural for you to also give to the poor, but giving to the poor is one way that people can fake it, much like a husband and fake love for his wife by showering her with gifts.

True charity is a choice to put one’s self lower than another person. It is not a feeling, but it may require us to put aside our feelings. None of us are perfect at it, but we willingly put aside our desire for superiority for the good of the other person.

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