Friday, 2 March 2012

Meditation on Love

If you are anything like me, you may find love challenging, as a concept. Yet you and I know it is the greatest thing in life. 

Many people are confused about whether they should be demonstrating doing-love or feeling-love. They cannot tell which one is greater.  Some do not realise there are various expressions of love. They may think they are receiving only "imperfect love" but completely fail to appreciate doing-love going on round them holding up their life.

If you are in a sinking ship, you want to be surrounded by loyal, selfless, reliable, resourceful people showing doing-love - even if you would not want to live with them. We say about certain people “He or she is the type you would want with you if you were stuck on a desert island”.  In other words, some people are not good at soft, emotional things - remembering birthdays - but they would save your life, if you were in trouble. 

Is the love of someone who cannot demonstrate softness to your face but who improves your quality of life less loving than someone who comforts you when you are in distress? Naturally, we long for unchallenging, gentle, kind, concerned love, on the emotional level. It touches the heart and it is particularly attractive, powerful to heal and to change lives. It also attracts people to God. Gentleness deeply reflects something about God’s character.

The New Testament commands us to "love one another” but does not precisely describe what "love" looks like.  Jesus demonstrated doing-love and feeling-love, but mostly serving love (doing love). Jesus died for, and served His flock while, at the same time, thinking they were not fast learners. There is “no greater love” according to Him, than to sacrifice oneself for one's friends. This is ultimate doing love. 

But the disciples also felt that Jesus deeply loved them, inspite of the fact that He often challenged them. This is feeling love. His demeanour to them demonstrated His love for them. 

If we feel we cannot achieve this, we are not alone. But we can always ask Jesus to help us start learning.

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