Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What Is Love?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • .
    Rom 12:10a . . Love each other with genuine affection

    Real affection is easy to imitate, but not so easy to duplicate. Going through the motions is just not the same as feeling the feelings.

    There are people in this world who, by nature, are affection-challenged. They can't even feel anything for their own children, let alone other people. For them, parenting is a nightmare rather than a dream come true. Their children are a burden rather than a blessing. Children ruin those parents' lives instead of brightening them up and making their lives more worth the living.

    However, affection-challenged people aren't entirely hopeless because Christianity isn't a do-it-yourself religion; it's a supernatural religion.

    Rom 8:11 . . If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit, who lives in you.

    Some might argue that verse is talking about the future. Well; their argument is okay as far as it goes, but doesn't go far enough. It's futile to resurrect a mortal body because it would be still be mortal; i.e. vulnerable to disease, aging, and death. No, the "life" that Rom 8:11 is talking about is a benefit package defined as the fruit of the Spirit; spoken of in Gal 5:19-25. One of the benefits in that package is love.

    A heads up to affection-challenged people: The fruit of the Spirit is inconvenient. It will make you a better human being, but it will also make you pretty uncomfortable at times too because love gets into your heart and makes you sensitive, compassionate, and empathetic . . . for real.

    People who've never felt those kinds of feelings before would be overwhelmed were love to come upon them in full power. Fortunately the fruit of the Spirit doesn't come on people all at once; instead, the fruit sort of grows on people a little at a time; sort of like gradually bringing a frog up to the boiling point by starting him out in cold water.

    Of course the process is lethal to the frog; but I'm only using the doomed amphibian as an analogy rather than a reality. The fruit of the Spirit is life rather than death. So the fruit gradually brings people up from a cold dead heart to a warm living heart.

    NOTE: The fruit of the Spirit isn't a particularly Christian thing. It was predicted for the Jews many, many years prior to the New Testament in Ezekiel 36:24-27.
    _

    Comment


    • .
      Rom 12:10b . . Honor others over yourselves.

      Christians infected with narcissistic personality disorder will find that rule difficult, if not impossible, to obey. It's a mental condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, exploitive behavior in relationships, and a lack of empathy.

      Narcissistic people are by nature insufferably arrogant, self-absorbed, indifferent, and insensitive. They see nothing wrong with their behavior, nor are they attuned to its impact on others. Were you to confront narcissistic folk with your concerns about their attitude; be prepared for a counterattack because they'll no doubt become indignant and defensive; possibly accusing you of selfishness, jealousy, overreaction, hysteria, and unloving behavior. You see; they're never the problem: you are.

      As I was watching a recent series on the National Geographic channel about geniuses; it became readily apparent to me that people in the genius category crave recognition. Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso are two very good examples. Their contributions to art and science were secondary to their ambitions for greatness. I wouldn't say that all geniuses are like that of course, but apparently the desire for greatness is not uncommon among them.

      I should think that most alpha achievers would have trouble complying Rom 12:10b too. I mean. why be a winner if not to feel superior to everyone else? The alpha achiever's motto is: It's not enough to succeed: everyone else must fail.

      Feelings of value are important to everyone's sense of well being, but the alpha achiever feels only himself to be of any real value; in his mind's eye, those "below" him are of little worth, i.e. expendable and/or a dime a dozen. (cf. Est 6:6, Matt 27:26, Mark 12:38 39, and 3John 1:9)
      _

      Comment


      • .
        Rom 12:13a . . Share with God's people who are in need.

        The Jews are God's people in accordance with an unconditional covenant that He made with Abraham. (Gen 17:7-8)

        NOTE: Nazi Germany was very nearly 99% Christian. Had they all complied with Rom 12:13a, the effects of the Holocaust would've no doubt been greatly reduced.
        _

        Comment


        • .
          Rom 12:13b . . Practice hospitality.

          Webster's defines hospitable as: (1) given to generous and cordial reception of guests, (2) promising or suggesting generous and cordial welcome, (3) offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.

          In other words; a hospitable person is civil, courteous, thoughtful, easy on one's nerves, helpful, approachable, accommodating, and relaxing to be with.
          _

          Comment


          • .
            Rom 12:14 . . Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

            The Greek word for "persecute" is dioko (dee-o'-ko) which means to pursue; i.e. to hound. In other words; a persecuting personality is one whose mission in life is to ruin somebody's day at every opportunity; and they are pretty good at finding ways to do it.

            Christians are under orders to remain civil with people deliberately out to get them; and not let snipers discourage the practice of hospitality. If they want to behave like predators, that's their choice; just be careful you don't choose to react in kind.
            _
            Last edited by WeberHome; December 16th, 2019, 07:24 PM.

            Comment


            • .
              Rom 12:15 . .When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow.

              A number of factors play a role in the making of an insensitive clod; one of which is defective areas of the brain called amygdalae. In brief, the amygdalae control, to a large extent, our emotions; i.e. our feelings, especially relative to empathy.

              Normal amygdalae make it possible to commiserate; which can be roughly defined as feeling sympathy and/or compassion as opposed to just going thru the motions. For example: I heard somewhere that half of us go to funerals to honor folk we couldn't be bothered with when they were alive and then lie through our teeth when we tell the family "I'm sorry for your loss."

              Defective amygdalae are usually a genetic problem; i.e. people with them were born that way. So, they are going to have a pretty difficult time of it when it comes to sharing in the happiness and/or the sorrow of others.

              "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?" (Jer 13:23)

              The answer to both those questions is of course NO; like they say: you can't get blood out of a turnip. So then, how is it reasonable to expect empathy-challenged Christians to share the happiness of happy people and/or the sorrows of sad people?

              Well; it isn't reasonable, but neither is it hopeless seeing as how a portion of the fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal 5:22). In other words: there's a supernatural remedy for personality disorders. (cf. Ezek 36:26)


              BTW: It's surprising the number of Christians that I've encountered, even Sunday school teachers, who honestly believe that feelings have no role whatsoever in the practice of Christianity. As a result, they go about the business of their Christian life as insensitive mannequins: heartless, cold, and metallic; sort of like the Tin Woodsman of the Wizard of Oz-- without a heart, he couldn't feel the passionate emotions he once felt for the love of his life. Without a heart; the poor, pitiful man was barely a sentient being
              _
              Last edited by WeberHome; December 16th, 2019, 07:25 PM.

              Comment


              • .
                Rom 12:16a. . Live in harmony with each other.

                It isn't necessary to be in 100% agreement with others on everything in order to comply with that command. But it is necessary to practice courtesy, tolerance, patience, and diplomacy, i.e. make every effort to avoid feuding, one-upmanship, and debating. The opposite of harmony is dissonance, which can be defined as a mingling of sounds that strike the ear harshly, e.g. sour notes.

                For some people, every disagreement is an act of war to be won at any cost. That's not harmony, that's hostility. It's far and away better for Christians to be diplomatic than to be right all the time.

                2Cor 12:19-20 . . For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
                _

                Comment


                • .
                  Rom 14:20-21 . . Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

                  The critters that God lists in the Jews' covenanted law as unsuitable for food aren't intrinsically unsuitable. They're only unsuitable for the Jews because that's how God wants it for His people. But outside the covenant; and for everybody else: whatever you'd like to eat can be eaten; all flora and all fauna.

                  Gen 9:3 . . Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

                  Acts 10:15 . .The voice spoke to him a second time; "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

                  But still; you wouldn't want to invite someone over for dinner serving foods that they sincerely believe are wrong for them to eat. Prepare something else that you both can eat. That's the Christian way to go about it; it's also the sympathetic way to go about it. There are times when it's appropriate to accommodate people's feelings about certain things. The world has enough intolerance as is; don't add to it.
                  _

                  Comment


                  • .
                    Rom 14:22a . . So whatever you personally believe in debatable areas keep between yourself and God.
                    _

                    Comment


                    • .
                      Rom 14:22b-23 . . Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

                      In other words, it's possible to be wrong even when you're right because it's a sin to forge ahead when one's conscience is not sure it's okay to do so.

                      I once knew a Christian who felt guilty just setting foot inside a BlockBuster video store. Was he silly for feeling that way? Not in his mind; and it's your own personal moral compass that counts in gray areas. Some Christians can't permit themselves to dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol; while others see nothing wrong with it. If those two kinds of Christians should perchance dine out together, it's the more sensitive conscience that determines where to eat.

                      In other words; it makes good spiritual sense to avoid insisting upon your freedoms and rights sometimes in order to prevent dragging your fellow Christians into something that makes them feel guilty and/or uncomfortable
                      _

                      Comment


                      • .
                        Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who believe certain things are wrong.

                        Webster's defines "considerate" as thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others, i.e. deferent, gallant, chivalrous, sensitive, yielding, and diplomatic.
                        _

                        Comment


                        • .
                          Rom 15:7 . . Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

                          That's a bit tricky but I think it just means all Christians should acknowledge each other as Christians, and treat one another as Christians though they may differ in opinion about what constitutes a true Christian.

                          For example: it's not unusual to hear a Christian pontificate that real Christians would never watch R-rated movies, gamble, wear a speedo or a string bikini, use cosmetics, smoke marijuana, expose cleavage or wear skin tight yoga pants in public, stop for a beer on the way home from work, have a glass of wine before bedtime, listen to RAP music, ditch church and Sunday school for years at a time, or go in a bar or a nightclub where there's topless female dancers up on a stage twining themselves around a pole while leering men stuff currency into the hems of their skimpy little costumes.

                          Too many Christians have the opinion that unless others believe and practice the very same way they believe and practice, then those others are not Christians. Well; the easiest way to settle this is to follow Webster's definition that a Christian is simply someone who professes a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. That's it: no more, no less, and no qualifiers. They don't even have to practice The Lord's teachings; they only have to profess to believe in them.

                          An internet forum I was on in the past made it even easier. In order to qualify as a Christian on that forum; one only had to believe they were a Christian; viz: they didn't have to prove they were a Christian; no, they only had to be convinced in their own minds that they were a Christian. If we all followed that rule it would put a stop to a lot of unnecessary quarreling, name calling, and bad feelings.


                          NOTE: Heresy is subjective. In other words: what's heresy to a Catholic may not be heresy to a Methodist, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a Mormon may not be heresy to a Jehovah's Witness, and vice versa. And what's heresy to a Baptist may not be heresy to the Church Of God, and vice versa. So my advice is: never, ever call another Christian a heretic.

                          Just to be on the safe side; edit that label from your remarks because it just might be that you yourself are the one infected with heresy and don't know it; viz: be circumspect with your choice of words because the hapless day just may arrive when you are forced to eat them.

                          It ain't what you know that gets you into trouble.
                          It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.

                          (Mark Twain)
                          _

                          Comment


                          • .
                            1Cor 8:4-13 . .We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

                            . . . But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

                            . . . Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

                            That passage can be said to be a codicil to the 14th chapter of Romans.

                            Putting this into a modern context is pretty simple; e.g. here in Oregon we have tavern-style restaurants; viz: a section of the tavern is a bar, and another section is dedicated to dining. The bar sections usually host State-sanctioned gambling machines too and typically off-limits to minors.

                            Suppose you have Christian friends who sincerely feel it's wrong to dine in a tavern-style restaurant because of the alcohol and the gambling. Though you yourself might be comfortable in your own mind that there is no sin in dining at taverns, your friends are not so sure. So if you were to take them to a tavern, they would be committing sin in compromising their conscience; and you would be committing sin by knowingly leading them in a situation that causes them to make that compromise.

                            Rom 15:1-2 . .We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in The Lord.

                            A pertinent example is Hooters; where the waitresses are cute buxom girls filled out in all the right places clothed in short shorts, and clingy tops; so that the situation is a double whammy of babes and alcohol. Supposing your Christian buddy sincerely feels it's wrong for Christians to dine at Hooters? Then you would be wrong in taking him there for a burger even if you were convinced in your own mind there is nothing wrong with Hooters because you would be leading your Christian buddy into a situation that's below him and causes him to feel guilty and/or less of himself.

                            The Bible says that Christians should accommodate others to their edification (edification means to build someone up as opposed to tearing them down), Well, when we please ourselves to their detriment; that's being selfish. Some guys feel that cute buxom girls and yummy gams are a God-send, while other guys regard them as the Devil in disguise. The correct route here is to accommodate the more sensitive conscience.

                            This is one of those situations that requires that each individual to be convinced in their own mind whether Hooters is wrong for themselves or okay for themselves (Rom 14:5) and God forbid that Christians should criticize a fellow Christian who frequents Hooters because this is indeed one of those gray areas; and just who are you to legislate the rules for others in gray areas (Rom 14:3-4). It's unfortunate that there are some very imperious, domineering Christians out and about who see nothing wrong with bullying others to compromise their convictions just so long as they get their own way and everybody conforms to their way of thinking.

                            For example: it is my own personal feelings that Luke 22:35-36 makes it okay for Christ's followers to own guns for self defense. Well; a rather opinionated Christian in one of my Sunday school classes sneered at me for feeling that way and proceeded to pontificate that Jesus' instructions were only "preparatory" for the upcoming confrontation with Judas and the crowd that came with him that night to arrest Jesus. Okay; that's fine with me if that's the way he feels about it; but sneering at me for feeling my way about it was not only thoughtless, but improper too.
                            _

                            Comment


                            • .
                              1Cor 10:24 . . Nobody should seek only his own good, but also the good of others.

                              That's not saying it's wrong to seek your own good; just wrong to seek it at the expense of another's good; viz: selfish ambition might be an acceptable modus operandi in professional sports, politics, and big business; but it's totally unacceptable in one's association with fellow believers.

                              And there's nothing new in that; I mean after all; it's just another way of expressing the so-called golden rule; which states: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matt 7:12)
                              _

                              Comment


                              • .
                                1Cor 10:27-29 . . If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you "This has been offered in sacrifice" then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake-- the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours.

                                If you go ahead and dine in someone's home where you know in advance the food is either dedicated to, or blessed by, a pagan deity, or that when they say grace around the table it will be to a god other than your own, or to a sacred personage that you do not accept; then your host is quite possibly going to come to the conclusion that his religion is just as valid as yours if you don't decline.

                                This is not saying that Catholics and Protestants can't eat together and/or pray together around the table; nor is it saying that Christians and Jews can't eat together and pray together around the table: not when Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are all praying to the same God: just from a different perspective.

                                I will say this though: if you are a Catholic host, and your guests are either Protestants or Jews; then for heaven's sake DO NOT pray around the table to Christ's mom and/or to one of Catholicism's many patron saints. That is extremely offensive to Protestants and Jews, and totally unnecessary anyway when you can just as easily say grace to the one supreme being common to you all.
                                _

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X