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A Ministry of


Radio Partner:

Brooklyn, Iowa / Creston, Iowa



NEW MEDIA CENTRE

 



 




PraiseLight
is
a Ministry of




(c) 2008- a Ditzel Media Company / Alpha & Omega Broadcasting formerly DU Media, Faith 91.5fm, Faith 102.1fm, Drayton Harbour Christian Radio, Sky 102, Joy Radio,  The Truth Radio Network,  Truth FM, and UV Stream



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(c) 2010 (02 October 2010)
PraiseLight Christian Radio
(Truth Ministries)
Ben J. Ditzel
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Love: A Definition

 

Love is perhaps the most talked-about, sought-after, and prized experience in the world, but there has always been confusion about what love truly is. Most people believe that love is something that just happens, that one can't force love to be present if it is not somehow spontaneously present in a relationship. Is this really true?

The Bible speaks a great deal about love--love not only for God, but also for oneself and others. Perhaps the greatest discourse on love ever written is the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians. It only takes 3 or 4 minutes to read this brief passage, but the concepts could be studied for a lifetime.

Strangely enough to modern minds, this chapter does not say that one's personality or worthiness should cause us to love him/her. Instead, love is portrayed as an active choice rather than a passive feeling. Jesus said that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves, and even to love our enemies. This indicates that emotions--even love--can be created.

The Bible teaches that this happens as a deliberate choice. As we act lovingly, we begin to feel the emotion of love. As we respond with patience, kindness, without jealousy, or boasting, arrogance, or rudeness, without being irritable or resentful, without rejoicing in someone else's mistakes, but all the time rejoicing in what is right and good, with a sense of endurance in all things, and never allowing those things we believe in to pass away, we are growing in love.

The Bible is not the only source for this concept of creating emotions. Many psychologists agree. Harry Stack Sullivan said, "It is easier to act yourself into a new way of feeling than to feel yourself into a new way of acting." If we wait until we feel loving, kind, generous, or compassionate, we will never grow beyond our own small prideful world of self-interest. But when we choose to act like the kind of person we want to be, we find the emotions begin to follow.

This is not a hypocritical pretending to be something you are not. Instead, it is deliberately setting aside the negative and self-centred feelings which keep you from being your best self. Emotions, after all, are changeable and unreliable. They may fuel actions, but they are unworthy as a basis for making choices. Positive emotions grow out of positive attitudes and actions.

Without a doubt there are scores of complicating factors in any relationship. There are elements over which we have no control. But we have to start with the truth that no one else can give you love or happiness. Expecting certain persons and/or situations to create happiness for you can only lead to greater frustration. If you are to have a loving relationship with anyone, you must build love within yourself by examining your attitudes and actions and then giving that love freely to others. This includes learning to love yourself.

If we refuse to examine our own role in relationships and to focus on the actions we can control, we will continue to be frustrated, not only in our relationships but in life in general. But doing the things which nurture love will produce positive changes and enable us to make wise choices that put us more in control of our lives and the future.

Spiritual resources are important for a balanced approach to handling any circumstance of life. In a relationship with God, people have the assurance that God is with them always.

 

 

Living4Christ Ministries

(West Des Moines, Iowa)