Happy day to you and thanks for joining me for more of this series! Fall is here; thank goodness! I just love this time of year. Grab your coffee, your journal and your strand of faith! My prayer is you will be able to tie knots in your strand of faith and truly remain stronger when it comes to feelings over characteristics. We left off with chasing the characteristic of Christ-like love verses the feeling of being “in love.” Remember, they call it “falling” in love for a reason!
I realize that there are those who don’t really “believe” in God and the reality of the necessity of the love and grace given through His Son, or you may believe but you have lots of questions and doubts and to believe would be like going to the top of a mountain and jumping! Oh, what a feeling! 🙂 The funny thing is, is that truly is what accepting His love feels like, especially for those of us who have old wounds, have been abandoned in some way by someone, and/or endured any kind of abuse, whether it was emotional or physical. It is so hard to trust the kind of love we seek, and yet it is an undeniable need. Learning to be willing to be willing to even try and accept the reality of it is like climbing up to the very top of the highest mountain and then jumping. You know that feeling you get when you drop from an incredibly high altitude? It’s like scary and exhilarating all at the same time. 🙂
I think to understand where I’m about to jump, it would be good for me to explain the four types of love: phileo, which is brotherly love; this is the kind of love that is based on common interests, common goals, or personalities. Then there is eros which is self-gratifying love. Eros is focused on one’s self and what it can get, often in terms of pleasure. It cares nothing for others because it is too busy using others and taking advantage of them–although it may impersonate affection to get what it wants. It often may even fool the person displaying eros into thinking that the eros is actually true love. This type of “love” gives many a very warped view of love, especially when bodies start touching!
Philia or Phileo is friendship and/or brotherly love…and if you think about this type of love, we are exhorted over and over again in His Love Letter to us to love one another with this type of love; however, when we have a friend or family member that we are having a difficult time loving, then we must kick it into high gear and lean on Him to pour Agape love through us that we may love our church family, our friends and our biological family…no matter the circumstance.
So let’s talk about agape love: This love goes beyond natural affection. You were created to literally flow with this kind of love in mighty, flowing streams as you tap into the all-powerful Source of this love. This love is available only through Christ who reconciles us to the almighty God who created all things. The Greek word for the supernatural kind of love is agape. This is why I analogized it to jumping, because it requires faith to receive…as well as faith to give out.
Well, somewhere, sometime in the midst of my jump, His hand caught mine and I came to believe and trust in His love for me. I can’t help but look back and think to myself, I sure wish I would have understood this kind of love so many years ago. Unfortunately, emotional scar tissue blinded me to the junk in my own trunk that had to be unpacked one piece at a time, but I’ll never forget the process.
See, I didn’t really understand that there was only one love that could complete me, make me whole and ready to receive the other types of love from others. Sure, I believed in Him, and I’d even pray quite often, maybe read the Bible every now and then, but I was giving so much attention to this need for love, that everything else was secondary. Put another way, I was running on empty when it came to the familial love, making a mess of every romantic (eros) relationship I ran into so that supply was dry, too. I did have quite a few friends who loved me (phileo), which now I see was His way of reaching out to me, and yet I was too busy chasing the romantic love and the familial love to even recognize His love being poured out to me through others…because I didn’t have it.
How about you; have you ever been chasing love? Do you realize that there is a relentless love that chases you, that will never leave you or forsake you? Feel free to leave your comments and join me next week as we talk about how to STOP chasing love and learn how to receive His love so that we may pour out to others…without feeling drained!