what is love?

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Poinsetta

Well-known member
Nov 24, 2018
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#61
“Forgiveness is the act of applying your undeserved mercy to your undeserved hurts. You didn’t deserve to be hurt, but neither did you deserve to be forgiven” — @MaxLucado
 

Webers.Home

Active member
May 28, 2018
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#62
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Rom 12:7a . . If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well.

"serving well" implies serving conscientiously and whole-heartedly rather
than half-baked, grudging, and/or hit and miss.

One of my brothers has been a construction foreman for decades and one of
his perpetual complaints is that he never knows from one day to the next
whether some of the men he hires on jobs will show up. In other words:
they aren't reliable-- he can't count on them.

What I'm saying is: if you're thinking about becoming helpful in some way,
don't do it unless you're willing to commit to the long haul because people
need to know that they can depend on you to stay the course.
_
 
Jul 22, 2019
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#63
ESV John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
 

Webers.Home

Active member
May 28, 2018
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#64
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Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids.
Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing
them all the time and never once giving them an "atta boy" or a single vote
of confidence.

A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up
somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing,
then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to
be honest though because flattery is all the same as treachery.

Prov 29:5 . .Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
_
 

CharliRenee

Member
Staff member
Nov 4, 2014
4,237
4,806
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#65
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Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids.
Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing
them all the time and never once giving them an "atta boy" or a single vote
of confidence.


A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up
somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing,
then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to
be honest though because flattery is all the same as treachery.


Prov 29:5 . .Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
_
Curious, flattery is BAD, sincere appreciation of others, in word and action, is good, right? I ask because so often sincere kindness equates flattery. I def agree that it is important to definitely MEAN what you say, and I def 100% agree with what you said about follow through with service.
 

Webers.Home

Active member
May 28, 2018
925
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#66
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Rom 12:8b . . If you have money, share it generously.

Generously is quite the opposite of sparingly.

Jesus once compared a widow's contributions to those of the wealthy. The
small amount she gave counted more than the larger amounts contributed
by the wealthy because her donation pretty much cleaned her out; while the
wealthy's contributions scarcely made a dent in their prosperity. (Mark
12:41-44)

I don't think Rom 12:8b is commanding Christ's followers to ruin
themselves, rather, to avoid being miserly.

“Christmas is a poor excuse every 25th of December to pick a man's
pockets.”

Scrooge

From: A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens


Ol' Scrooge is known the world over as the king of tightwads. He's an
extreme example, to be sure; most people aren't that grasping, but I think
quite a few are maybe a bit too frugal.
_
 

Webers.Home

Active member
May 28, 2018
925
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#67
.
Rom 12:8 . . If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

That would probably correspond to incidents like the one depicted in the
parable of the man attacked by road agents in Luke 10:30-36. In that
instance, a passerby had the skills and the wherewithal to provide care for a
total stranger in need.

Personally, I'm not much at first aid and/or emergency medical services. But
what we're getting at here is that should you find yourself in circumstances
where you can be of genuine, effective assistance; don't lend a hand
grudging. It ought to make Christians happy to be of assistance instead of
getting irritated and grumpy about an unexpected inconvenience.

A solo Pacific Crest Trail hiker named Cheryl Strayed, in her book
"WILD", recounts an evening wherein she was very low on funds and
having no luck locating a suitable place in the woods to set up her tent
before it got really dark. Cheryl found her way into a fee campground and
set up at the extreme end of the facility where she thought no one would
mind; but later that night the caretakers came by and, in a not-so-friendly
tone, insisted that she either pay the $12 fee or break camp and leave.

The "Christian" thing to do would have been to take Cheryl's I.O.U. and loan
her the fee instead of forcing a woman to wander out into the pitch black
forest all alone at night. The PCT is dangerous enough in daytime, but night
is much worse, even with a strong camper's headlamp.

NOTE: The law is the law and rules are rules, that's true but according to
Jesus' teachings; there are instances when human need-- e.g. health,
safety, and welfare --come first. His hard-hearted, strictly by-the-book
religious opponents just couldn't get that through their thick skulls. (cf. Ex
1:15-21)
_
 

Webers.Home

Active member
May 28, 2018
925
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#68
.
Rom 12:9a . . Don't just pretend that you love others.

Webster's defines "pretense" as fiction, make-believe, and/or simulation.
Ironically, pretense is foundational to ordinary civility and common courtesy.
But when it comes to love; Christians should never put on a front. In other
words: don't lead someone on to believe you care about them when in
reality you don't. That's not only dishonest; it's cruel.

I once asked a rather incompetent Sunday school teacher, in so many
words, whether feelings play a role in Christianity. He said that feelings are
emotions and therefore insignificant. Well; I have to disagree.

Col 3:12 . . Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels
of mercies

The koiné Greek word for "bowels" in that passage is splagchnon (splangkh'
non) which basically refers to one's intestines; i.e. the tummy; which says to
me that bowels of mercies are emotions rather than just good manners.

In other words: real love isn't a non emotional academic concept; it contains
things like pity, sympathy, empathy, compassion, thoughtfulness, and
sensitivity. Real love is easily mimicked, but not all that easy to feel;
especially by people who, by nature, are more monster than human.
_
 

Webers.Home

Active member
May 28, 2018
925
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#69
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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.
_
 
F

FullyLoved

Guest
#70
.
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.
_
You could have used a boiled egg. Or why not a flower seed, like it keeps growing up until eventually it blooms beautifully.
 
F

FullyLoved

Guest
#71
It might be cliche, but picture a flower. Sometimes the wind blows it and the petals fall, or the frost hits it and it freezes, or the heat is too much and it shrivels. Love is delicate like a flower sometimes. In the Lord's garden (heart) , he knows how to prune it and tend to it to make it thrive, or bloom again when it fades. Maybe affection challenged people don't know how to let Jesus work in their garden so it's hard to see anything blooming. Also I like your post, if it sounds like a debate it isn't. God's love is really something to chew on and try to understand so we can walk in it too.
 
F

FullyLoved

Guest
#72
.

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.
_

This last part of your post I don't understand though. In the OT it mentions 'God's spirit' a lot but in the OT it also was something that could be lost (like with Samson, and Saul). I think it is a CHRISTian thing because with Christ he promises to never leave us nor forsake us.
 

Webers.Home

Active member
May 28, 2018
925
161
43
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#73
.
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)
_
 
F

FullyLoved

Guest
#74
.
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)
_
 
F

FullyLoved

Guest
#75
Good thing there's Jesus the ultimate mental wall breaker
 
F

FullyLoved

Guest
#76
Good thing there's Jesus the ultimate mental wall breaker
Also another interesting thing I'd liked to add for discussion, is whether there is a possibility that a narcisstic child who received the holy spirit at a young age can be void of all/most of the above stated characteristics & actions towards others?
 

Webers.Home

Active member
May 28, 2018
925
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#77
.
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.
_
 

FollowHisSteps

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2019
3,674
1,193
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#78
I remember when I wondered what it would be like to fall in love with someone.
I had no clue, until I did.

It took me by surprise because it took my whole being and I was invested in another individual.
Love is an abandonment of self for a communion or intimacy with another, at a level where both
can hurt each other and there is a mutual dependency that matters to both.

You could therefore see who loves Jesus and who does not.
Those who dismiss Jesus's ways with a few words do not love Him or know Him.

This sounds harsh, but Jesus is about the deepest intimacy a human can have spiritually.
Jesus goes deeper than anything else.

It is why He says this

26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children,
his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.
27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14

This sounds wrong except when you hear what Jesus is saying. When conflict comes between
those who are close to you and Jesus, Jesus wins because He is God and He is love.

This is not because of status, but because in eternity this is true, and when you see, whatever
the dispute, His ways are the best and only way to reality, life and the truth. It is the problem
of our bias and subjectivity, when we are so involved we cannot see the sin and evil, unless we
see with the eyes of Jesus and walk with Him despite the cost and pain. Once free we will
understand. God bless you all.
 

Deade

Called of God
Dec 17, 2017
10,127
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73
#79
"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one
another." (John 13:35)

For many of us who grew up in dysfunctional families, broken homes, foster
systems, gangs, and/or orphanages et al; the concept of love doesn't
resonate in our thinking; viz: it just goes in one ear and right out the other
because we quite literally have no points of reference in our minds to aid
comprehending what Christ means by love. We know what Hollywood and
contemporary music mean by love, but we haven't a clue what Christ
means.

This is why the epistles are so valuable-- many of them not only show
Christ's followers how to recognize love when they encounter it; but also
how to exemplify it in their own lives so that those of us who were deprived
of love growing up are not left to figure it out on our own.
You have described my childhood to a tee. My father died six months before I was born. I had a sister die one month before I was born. My mother was in three car wrecks carrying me. She was pumped full of morphine each time. I was born in a stage of drug withdrawal. I was very feeble and asthmatic. I almost died many times before I outgrew the asthma at about 2 1/2 years old.

My mother was young and thought she was going to lose it and was afraid to bond with me. I was minimally just taken care. My whole extended family was living in two houses side-by-side in Watts, a Los Angeles suburb. My grandpa was a drunk and out of work until his death in '48. About that same time five cousins moved into our house with my two brothers and my mom. Grandma lived next door and had 10 of her 13 kids still at home. There wasn't much in the way of affection shown, we just toughed it out. I grew up very independent but had little knowledge of love. The two matriarchs, my mother and grandmother, did not give any parental guidance, they just kind of became referees. I had to learn about love on my own. :cool:
 

FollowHisSteps

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2019
3,674
1,193
113
#80
You have described my childhood to a tee. My father died six months before I was born. I had a sister die one month before I was born. My mother was in three car wrecks carrying me. She was pumped full of morphine each time. I was born in a stage of drug withdrawal. I was very feeble and asthmatic. I almost died many times before I outgrew the asthma at about 2 1/2 years old.

My mother was young and thought she was going to lose it and was afraid to bond with me. I was minimally just taken care. My whole extended family was living in two houses side-by-side in Watts, a Los Angeles suburb. My grandpa was a drunk and out of work until his death in '48. About that same time five cousins moved into our house with my two brothers and my mom. Grandma lived next door and had 10 of her 13 kids still at home. There wasn't much in the way of affection shown, we just toughed it out. I grew up very independent but had little knowledge of love. The two matriarchs, my mother and grandmother, did not give any parental guidance, they just kind of became referees. I had to learn about love on my own. :cool:
Praise the Lord, He found you.
I am staggard at the painful situations some have been in, it makes mine seem small.
Yet I know without love touching our hearts we are defensive and eaten alive by hurt and bitterness.

My life was in a family of shy people who were scared of their shadows, yet on the surface quite functional.
I learnt through Jesus love only matters when it is shown, when others reach out and catch one another.
And it is not difficult when Jesus has caught you, because the confidence grows and the hurts and pains
we can carry because of the cross.

It is clear many on these forums do not have this love in their hearts, not in a judgemental way, but just
we know without this we are lost. My daughter was baptised recently, and she came to a point were she
saw Jesus and His love, just astounding love, pouring out, and how she would do anything for Him.

I thought others if they saw this, their response would be the same, except I learnt this is not true. For
some it just makes them more rebellious and condemning, more judgemental of people in the past etc.
I think this mystery is like every relationship, two way. In humbleness alone can we walk, and just count
others better than ourselves, unless they desire to chop us up because of Jesus, at which point maybe
their position is somewhat never established properly.