Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love choices

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 John 2:7-17

TO CHEW ON: “He who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.” 1 John 2:10

A while ago I saw a TV commercial that made me chuckle.

This couple is out together. The girl looks earnestly into the face of the guy and says, “I love you.”

He opens his mouth as if to say he loves her back, but can’t seem to get the word out, “I lu… le… la …” He screws up his face with the effort while the look on hers grows ever more distressed.

A barmaid happens by and calls out, “Would you like another X-brand (beer)?”

“I’d love one!” This time the word comes out without any effort at all.

It’s obvious that this young man knew at a gut level the word love has more than one meaning.

In our passage today “love” or “loves” occurs four times. In each one the word used in the Greek text is agape. A sidebar article in my Bible says:
“Agape denotes an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable good will that always seeks the highest good of the other person no matter what he does. It is the self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return and does not consider the worth of its object.”

That’s how we are to love our “brother.” And that’s how John tells us not to love the world or the things of the world…. which means it’s possible to love the world that way. Do we?

The definition goes on:
“Agape is more a love by choice than philos which is love by chance, and it refers to the will rather than the emotions” (Word Wealth – New Spirit Filled Life Bible p. 1556).

On this day when we celebrate yet another kind of love – eros – often characterized more by butterflies in the stomach and a stirring in the loins than cold light-of-day choice, let’s certainly give our romantic lover kisses, chocolates and assurances of fidelity. But let’s also look long and hard at the quality of our love for that person, indeed all our brothers (and sisters) and to the things on which we choose to set our hearts. May 1 Corinthians 13 be our agape love template.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for Your agape love for me. Help me to choose to love others that way.

MORE: Valentine’s Day
Today is Valentine’s day – a day our society celebrates romantic love. We’re told flower, card and chocolate shops make a major part of their year’s proceeds from this holiday. Do you have someone special that you love romantically?

Gary Chapman has written many books about the five love languages.  Do you know your spouse or significant other’s love language? (Take the test.)

You might want to read some stories of how the awareness of a spouse’s love language made a difference.  How might this knowledge impact the way you celebrate Valentine’s day?

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