Friday, February 1, 2013
The behaviors of love
Love cannot be a duty; it is not a list of acceptable behaviors to do and a list of unacceptable behaviors to not do. Love is not actually an emotion either; do not confuse love with affection. Affection is wonderful, but affection is a self-reflecting joy of things and people you like.
Love is a dynamic of a perception that motivates; it is an awareness of inarticulate high value that results in a compelling desire to celebrate that high value and to behave in a manner that keeps who or what what is valued inviolate. Love is the experience of awareness that naturally desires to express itself through behaviors.
And this might sound strange to you but I Corinthians 13 is not teaching us how to love. You do not love by being patient, by being kind, by squelching envy, by holding your tongue from boasting, or by denigrating your sense of pride. You do not love by honoring others, or by foregoing self-seeking, or by holding back your anger, or by erasing your grudge list. You do not love by keeping yourself from finding evil delightful, or by noticing truth and remembering to rejoice in it. You do not love by deciding to protect, or choosing to trust, or by looking for something to hope in, or be disciplining yourself to persevere.
Those behaviors do not make you a person who loves. In fact deliberately attempting to engage in those behaviors makes you a shallow hypocrite. Love is not a to-do list of behaviors to do and behaviors to avoid. LOVE IS the conscious awareness of HIGH VALUE and it is a strong awareness so that it naturally results in various behaviors being used to express it. Now go back and read that list from 1 Corinthians 13. Love will behave that way without having to even think about it or checking off a to-do list. I Corinthians is not a how to love passage, it is a passage that describes how love expresses itself as it proceeds from the core of your being.