The All-Consuming Passions of Mankind pt.1

The Differences between Love and Hate

In this first installment we will explore man’s definition of love, and in that the two all-consuming passions that utterly take us over and blind our reason forcing us to do both heroic and barbaric things to others depending on whether we feel love or hate for them.  In reality there is a very fine line between love and hate and in our brain there is virtually no difference between them.  That I know is a shocking statement in and of itself, but never the less this strange and scary construct has been scientifically proven to be true.  But before we go there let’s begin with scripture and then apply man’s definitions we have created for these two all-consuming emotions.  Let’s examine them biblically first then move into science.

1 peter

8 “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9

The Perfect Example of Love

The simple message carried throughout the Middle East and into Europe in the decades after the death of Christ by His disciples was a very basic one, “Love one another.” The absolute “Love” of God or “Agape Love” was the example and is today the hardest to achieve. I have to think that God would not have shown us such a perfect love if we as mortals could not attain it and in that we look to Jesus who throughout all the hateful things others did to him and others he loved never once acted out with anything in his heart other than this agape love of Gods.  So with that said we can extrapolate this purest of all love is attainable and should be our starting point in our search for the true definition of what Jesus really meant by;

<a class=John 13" width="272" height="388" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/listeningfaithfullyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/john-13.jpg?w=498 498w, https://i1.wp.com/listeningfaithfullyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/john-13.jpg?resize=210%2C300 210w" sizes="(max-width: 272px) 100vw, 272px" />

34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” ~ John 13:34

Love Defined

It has been long debated what love is, how we should love, what love looks like, how to handle heartbreak, and the strong emotion love overwhelms us with. We have undoubtedly struggled with this concept we call love and in our rational mind love makes us do things which makes no sense to our personal well-being but rather fulfills a basic need all people are born with from the start.  This struggle all people contend with in both their personal and professional lives is further complicated with our struggle to understand an equally overwhelming emotion known as hate.  Hate presents the same questions as does love and it appears as strongly in our hearts as does love. One could even argue that hate is loves evil twin who twists loves goodness into a pool of unrecognizable film of darkness.  Therefore, love is an emotion which is equal to hate, and the line which divides them is much thinner than we could have ever imagined.  It boggles the mind how love could be at the root of a hateful act, and vice-versa, how hate could ever be linked to love.  In an attempt to explore this paradox we must first start with the modern definition of love;

Love is defined as –

  1. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
  2. A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
  3. Sexual passion or desire.
  4. A person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
  5. (Used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
  6. love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
  7. Sexual intercourse; copulation.  ~ Found online at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/love

First Form of Love

Each of the seven definitions covers a huge realm of emotions, feelings, and actions that are linked to other emotions that help to build this intense feeling of love.  An example of this is found in the first definition: a profoundly “tender”(the word “tender” is different than the word love and is uniquely described as being: weak, immature, easily moved, soft, young, delicate, not strong or hardy, and or gentle. ~ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tender ).  This word “tender” must then be viewed as nothing more than a supporting feeling of love linked in our actions for or against others while always playing a minor role in the background.

Example: I can argue in a “tender” way and thus be perceived as not being strong or weak on the argument. I can console another person “tenderly”, and thus be perceived as being soft and delicate. I can have a crush on another person and thus be perceived as being young or immature in my actions towards them, even biased when compared to others. None of which equals the emotion of love, but are qualities found in love. I could easily argue with my girlfriend or wife in a tender way so as not to hurt their feelings, I could console them softly, and act childish in my actions in private and when defending them become very bias because of my love for her. This extends to our children and other family members. We say this is love but in reality it is the expression of love in its weakest or mildest form.

Love Me Tender

So being “tender” is the first act of showing a growing emotion for another person and consequently the step to becoming vulnerable and complete exposed. It is proceeded by the second definition of love: a feeling of warm personal attachment – (here again we now are part of something bigger than ourselves and this most basic of emotions fulfills a primal need programmed into every person on earth by our creator – the need to belong. ~  http://listeningfaithfullyblog.com/2009/04/18/reflections-1-a-real-relationship-with-god-relationships-series/ )

In this first ever blog posting of Listening Faithfully I try to point out how we are hot-wired from the start by God in order that these emotions should guide us to serve our Lord emphatically.  However, the love that manipulates our choices and decisions are profoundly linked to first becoming willingly subdued to the strong over powering emotion of love. Therefore, the first sign of this would be to do something for someone else that in reality you would not have otherwise done and in this your actions are “tender”, others may perceive you as being silly or weak and even soft.  This perception can be both good and bad and carry with it a diverse volume of consequences, both unintended and intended.

Example: The irrational act of giving flowers or presents to a person you’re infatuated with without knowing their true feelings for you first – spending money you probably should have kept – defending a person even if it puts you in a weaker position with others – and my personal favorite, the games we play with ourselves when trying to justify these actions either to ourselves or others who have called us out on it.  However intense the act of being “tender” is in our own mind we are in reality sending signals out to the world like a probe in search of love – to test if this new connection will fulfill our most basic needs of belonging.

The Evolution of Love

Again, in all of this love is becoming stronger, our actions more manipulated, our ability to reason is more compromised, and this wonderful all-consuming emotion drives further into our heart and mind as it progresses into the next more powerful definition of love – that being: sexual passion or desire.  In this stage of love we as human-beings are able to express the deepest of emotions – the power to share without fear of being compromised – the need of confession is realized as is the bond between two people is thus born into it’s infancy not unlike an impenetrable bridge made of iron and concrete.  Sadly many people confuse the pleasures of this stage of love with the act of having sex which is a primal effort to pass ones genes on so as to insure the survival of one’s own lineage. In this confusion of feelings love becomes the act of having sex rather than the tenderness of giving flowers, or the soft manner we hold each other’s hand, or even the ability to argue softly with love in our voices. These pleasures are then lost as our bodies begin to crave carnal pleasure and our mind and emotions become detached from the true purposes of love. Therefore, what some would call love is in reality a sin and an abomination in the eyes of God. For no other reason is there so many divorces and children born out of wedlock.  For no other reason is there the crimes of passion we see played out nightly in the news, and the broken hearts of children who are left wondering why their parents are absent in their lives. ~ For a deeper explanation Click Here

FAMILY

On the other hand when these emotions are handled in a mature responsible way with dignity and respect do we see the miracle of God in the faces of our children, is there the foundations drilled deep that support a whole productive and balanced family unit, and in this do we see couples love and honor each other until death do they part.  But even this outcome is dependent fully on the trick of our minds and emotions that love weaves that allows us to do things we would not otherwise do with not clear benefits to ourselves but yet greatly benefits others around us. In this more complete definition offered by the bible do we find the root of love and also it evil twin – that of hate.

With that firmly rooted in your mind, I am always called back to the biblical definition of love – a definition where love is defined in a broader and more diverse way; one that goes far beyond the online dictionaries we have at our fingertips today and which I have quoted from in this posting.

1Corinthians_spread1.0

“4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

With this universal standard we can begin to understand what love really is and how powerful it can be.  We begin to fully view the greatest gift of all and how it manipulates our thinking, alters our actions, and provokes both heroic and barbaric deeds. We literally scratch the surface of this gift given to us by God and yet just start to uncover the deepest consequences it holds for all man-kind.

Amen

If you liked this Reflection – The All-Consuming Passions of Mankind pt.1… then please leave a comment.  Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

IMG_3369

Your invited to stay in contact with me!

EMAIL: listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com

Or through:

Facebook   and also follow me on Pintrest

Your invited to read our new About Page!

Calling All Talents! – LB OUTREACH!

As a special token of appreciation please accept a free downloadable gift from me to you: FREE BIBLE

SPECIAL NOTE:

Dr. Kallay was my boss and God Mother at Ascension Catholic School and she has recently retired due to health issues.  I am sharing the video I made on behalf of the Ascension Community to Honor her 11 years of service. CLICK HERE

Reflections 2: Paying Attention to Detail

“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:18-22, Lost Gospel Q, Q30, p.64).

It is no accident that when we look at the human spirit we all have a common need to know God. It is no accident that Jesus chose to come as a sheep to be slain, only to rise on the third day. I say it is not an accident because God chose to give us all free will, in doing so He knew we would sin, and fall away from Him but our God did it anyway. God is so magnificent, so perfect in all His works that He was so precise that He paid such close attention to detail in the creation of us that which He had already made room for our sins in His overall plan for humanity. It is no accident that our creator made us in His likeness took such delight in giving Adam his first breath of life, as He does for each and every one of us. God paid such close attention to detail that He recognized when Adam was lonely, thus He created Eve. The miracle is in the fact there is no difference to how closely God observes us, each one of us, and knows when we need Him, answers our prayers, and plays such an active role in our individual lives once we have accepted Him into our hearts, under that most perfect design called free will.

Simon Peter could have said no, as well could have Andrew. In fact each and every one of the twelve disciples could have said no. But because each one of us has that built in need to know God, they followed him, they made a choice. They walked away from their lively hood, their families, their worldly responsibilities, and made the choice to follow him. To their credit they listened to Jesus and followed him upon blind faith that they were making the right choice. The most compelling aspect to this was Jesus knew they would slip in their faith while following him, he knew they would argue, complain, have many doubts, even question him on topics they all struggled with, which we all still today struggle with. Jesus knew they would abandon him in the end, run away in fear, deny him, and even betray him. Jesus knew this just as his Father in heaven knew Adam and Eve would sin, but instead of fixing this one trait, our Lord and Savior used it to our greatest benefit, through his death on the cross. Perhaps the greatest of Jesus’s acts took place during the last super as found in John 13: 1-5, when he washed his disciple’s feet. The attention to detail was so perfectly executed that Jesus did not hesitate to wash the feet of Judas Iscariot, knowing that within moments of him doing so, Judas would betray him.

“2 The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him” (John 13: 2-5, Pg. 1656, NKJV).

How do you reconcile the example of doing for those who would do you ill? In truth I don’t know anyone who could have washed Judas’s feet if they had the forward knowledge that Judas was going to betray them. Moreover within hours from that moment such torture and pain was going to be unleashed upon him. But it took the unyielding, agape love of God to become the servant, to wash the feet of his betrayer. But yet we are all called to do this. In retrospect it is no different from when God gave Adam life, knowing Adam would eventually sin against him. In fact every human on Earth has sinned against God, but yet He still pays such close attention to detail as to love us anyway, to show us His grace anyway, and to choose to send His son Jesus to save all of us from eternal damnation anyway.

Jesus still chose out of free will, the twelve flawed, conflicted, non-patient men to be his disciples, and they accepted his invitation through free will and blind faith. Some of the most powerful words Jesus ever uttered in his ministry were his most simple of words, “Follow Me.”

Often times we get so wrapped up in our own lives we forget to do for others as Jesus so plainly gave the most perfect of examples. Some of us have such brilliant excuses as using the lack of time as the culprit in not obeying God. The simple miscalculation of this is found in the fact there is no one busier than God, but yet He so passionately spends personal one-on-one time with each and every one on planet Earth. There is no excuse for not showing others kindness, love, mercy, and forgiveness. Worse yet some of us openly betray God, in all their words and actions. They harm even those they love, and call this twisted pool of lies and rebellion love. But such is free will, we are free to think, feel, react, learn, and breath, as we choose. But we all have a choice, we all make our own destiny, we all have a loving forgiving father in heaven who is always there waiting, watching, hoping we will call upon Him, to ask for His forgiveness. Such is the very nature of God, as so expressed by John,

“8  He who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8, Pg. 1170, NKJV).

Furthermore John explains,

“16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:16-19, Pg. 1170, NKJV).

Because we are left with the unyielding love of God, we are never alone, never left without hope, never subject to fear. Within our faith we are made perfect in God, we are molded and shaped by God. He takes so much pleasure in each wrinkle, every scratch, every pour and cell in our bodies, for He alone pays such great attention to such details. Ironically this takes vast amounts of time, and this is what God does for us just like He did for Jesus’s twelve disciples. One of the greatest reliefs is that whenever there is a huge worry, a meeting, assignment, or task that is life changing and a bit scary to face, know God is in our life and that there is noting to fear. For if we know God in our heart, we know love, in that love cast out fear and we then have perfect confidence our task will be completed just as Jesus faced down death, only to rise on the third day with God’s perfect confidence and love.

Challenge question: Knowing we are commanded to love one another, to love our enemies, to wash clean their feet, to show mercy and forgiveness, then when we choose not to do so aren’t we really in rebellion? Aren’t we really telling God we know better? Then if this is the case aren’t we all very lucky to have such a forgiving God who has paid such attention as to give us the agape love we need to come to him once we realize our mistake, our sin?

Amen

If you have been moved by this blog I humbly invite you to leave a message telling me your thoughts and how this reflection has touched you. May peace and love be with you all the days of your life.  May God keep you and bless you. Amen.