About Love

Love is not just a feeling. A person whose love does not compel him or her to action is misled about his or her state.

Poets and song writers wax lyrical about love, it is probably the most oft used verb in the English language.

The Bible tells us we are to love our fellowman. Few disagree. The populrity of sites like Facebook even suggests there is a universal desire to connect with others. But 500 Facebook friends does not encompass all that is meant by love.

Many people reach out in love, they volunteer their time and they donate money to worthy causes. Some go into difficult and dangerous circumstances to help others. This is love in action.

Starting a business can be considered love in action. Giving people jobs is love in action. Anything we do that makes the lives of others better can be attributed to love. But this view of love as action is also insufficient.

Love is not just about giving time and things. It is not about the material world. Love is about giving ourselves, not for a time or in the heat of the moment or for a particular cause.

We can give all our money to charity. We can do works of charity. Giving is not hard. But can we open ourselves up to what others have to give? This is the hard part. This is the love the Bible refers to as Charity.

Biblical love is not about empathy. Charity is not completed by feeling sorry for the plight of others. Charitable love is not expressed as sympathy for the downtrodden, sick and helpless.  We need to be open to the love of others. It is not enough to feel sympathy we need to feel one with others.

A lot of charity work is an assumption by people about what the poor, homeless and disadvantaged need, but there is often little engagement.

People do not design an institutional style delivery system with which to feed our children. We do not prepare menus weeks ahead to be cooked and served at the same time every day without variation in a sparse and utilitarian environment. Scripture tells us we are to have a party and invite the poor to our home. Does this sound like God wants us to build soup kitchens?

Would a slave owner do any less than what many Christian Missions do? It is the same mentality that operates in both camps. True love engages the person helped. Help is a mission but it is also a relationship.

People do not want help as a service given by paid professionals, they want help as an outpouring of love. Charitable love is love that is compassionate about the individual and gives according to the needs of the receiver. It requires a different kind of mission. Exchanges are a Grassroots Peace Initiative designed to bring peace to individuals and to communities.

 

 Love is not about feeling sympathy or having empathy.

Love is Charitable and without works love is meaningless.

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Revised September 21, 2013

 




 

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