The Second Gift

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

 

2nd Timothy 1:7:EL pen Logo with heart

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind

Happy day to you! December’s whizzing by like a remote control helicopter operated by a child who only knows how to push the “go” button! And the people, where in the world did all these people come from? Christmas brings them out of the woodwork, whew! Grab your coffee and let’s go un-wrap that second gift He’s given us.

Love, how do we describe the gift of love? Is it something you can wrap up and put in a box? Is it sort of ethereal, mystical, flittering and fluttering in and out of our grasp like a butterfly? Is it a thing, a feeling?  Did you know that the search for love and its definition is the thing most searched for on Google? Isn’t that amazing? It’s kind of crazy when you think about it. You could be in the midst of a serious conversation: Q: What do you think love is? A: Uh, I don’t know; let’s ask Google! Google is to the computer what the Bible is to the Christian. Okay, sorry, I’ll get back on track. I was just surprised by that little fact because I actually Googled it!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I wanted to see how the world defines love, so let’s have a bit of fun with this and then I’ll share the kind of love that He’s gifted to us according to His Word in the Greek concordance.

So when I looked this up, I was intrigued by one site that had The Five Theories of Love, written by a physicist, a psychotherapist, a philosopher, a romantic novelist and finally a nun! Now, I know what I believe because of all that I have experienced in my journey without Christ and finally with Him. I learned a long time ago that we must have an answer for our faith, for believing what we believe, so with that understanding, let’s do a bit of exploring on this gift of love and then unwrap His gift of love and its meaning.

So Jim Al-Khalili, the physicist, says that love is a powerful neurological condition and he compares that condition to hunger or thirst with the difference being love is more permanent. He defends the “love is blind” saying by declaring that love is basically chemistry and therefore we have no control over it – remember that thought! He analogizes true love to attachment and bonding and lists several chemical that the brain releases when in the state of love!

Here’s where I have a bit of angst with his “view” on love. He says “from an evolutionary perspective, love can be viewed as a survival tool – a mechanism we have evolved to promote long-term relationships, mutual deference and parental support of children and to promote feelings of safety and security.”

Oh, I so can’t wait to get to the Greek translation and compare truths!

Wow, tgift_hearthe psychotherapist’s point of view on love was/is astounding! She does rightfully say it can’t be lumped into one group, one class, one type, and goes on to describe the different types of love … completely and utterly inaccurately! Why am I so dogmatic about that? Because she calls agape love a “generalized” love! If it were so “generalized” why aren’t more of us practicing it? Oh, sorry, let’s get moving on to the rest of her theory on love. She does say agape love is not about exclusivity but about all humanity … so all inclusive, okay. I’ll chew on that a bit by Philippa Perry. Let’s see what the philosopher says about love.

Ah, this is interesting. He says love is elusive because it is not one thing. He says love for parents, children, neighbors, friends, country, “God and so on” all have different qualities. He describes the variables of love, meaning the different faces of love, or emotions of love. He says love is fickle, blind, one-sided, tragic, steadfast, fickle, misguided, and the last one, he hits a big one: Unconditional! He goes on to kind of put a damper on that last and most powerful fact of love, that being unconditional by saying that at its best, love is a passionate commitment that we  nurture and develop, and when it happens, it is unannounced and often unexpected. He goes on to say that love is more than just a powerful feeling because without the commitment, it is mere infatuation; without the passion, it is mere dedication. Without nurturing, even the best can wither and die.

Hmmm, I would agree that love is about commitment; otherwise it is mere infatuation but many of us, when the going gets rough and we suddenly find things inside the box that we weren’t aware were in there, we turn and run the other way. Oh, how true it is that we never experience what’s inside the package until we are in it!

Let’s move on to the romantic novelist’s theory on love. Her name is JoJo Moyes and she is actually a two-time winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year award! This should be good, kind of like watching The Bachelor or the Bachelorette … romanticized and when the romance is gone so is the “feeling” of love. No wonder they call it “falling in love.”

Hmmm, I actually like what she says: “What love is depends on where you are in relation to it. Secure in it, it can feel as mundane and necessary as air – you exist within it, almost unnoticing. Deprived of it, it can feel like an obsession; all consuming, a physical pain. Love is the driver for all great stories: not just romantic love, but the love of parent for child, for family, for country. It is the point before consummation of it that fascinates: what separates you from love, the obstacles that stand in its way. It is usually at those points that love is everything.”

Let’s move on to the nun’s theory and I have to tell you, her tag line on the subject captivated me: “Love is free yet binds us.” Isn’t that good?  This confirms the commitment part of it.

It also confirms that love is a choice; and the freedom to choose comes with a price! Sounds like an oxymoron, huh? I thought of that the other day on a run. God gave us free will, but there is a price! Oops, I’m getting off track here; sorry! Let’s get back to Catherine Wybourne’s theory on love:
“Love is more easily experienced than defined. As a theological virtue, by which we love God above all things and our neighbors as ourselves for His sake, it seems remote until we encounter it enfleshed” – I didn’t know there was such a word and my Word program has this underlined in red, so hang in there with me! J –“so to say, in the life of another” – ahh, that makes sense now – “in acts of kindness, generosity and self-sacrifice. Love’s the one thing that can never hurt anyone, although it may cost dearly. The paradox of love is that it is supremely free yet attaches us with bonds stronger than death. It cannot be bought or sold; there is nothing it cannot face; love is life’s greatest blessing.”

Wow, she had some interesting and thought-provoking thoughts there. Now let’s go to the final say: The Word. Did you know the word love and all its forms are in the Bible over 500 times? Don’t worry; we aren’t going to cover but one! J  Now let’s go to the Greek concordance to open up this second gift that He has gifted to us:

I knew it; it’s AGAPE love… He has gifted us with His love, not the love of the world. Oh, please, sit with me for just a couple more minutes as I relay what the Greek concordance says about this precious gift and we open this entire package together!

The first definition says that this type of love is His attitude toward His Son and the human race. It is His will to His children concerning their attitude toward others, and His desire for us to express His essential nature!

It goes on to say that “Love can be known only from the actions it prompts as God’s love is seen in the gift of his Son.”

Oh, we are going a bit deeper into this gift/box of love so as to get the complete giftedness of it.  We as followers of the Giver of this gift express this type of love first of all in implicit obedience to Him. See, self-will or anything that we do that is self-seeking negates this type of love. In other words, when we accept this priceless, unfailing gift of His love for us, it empowers us to let go of ourselves. This type of love is not prompted by an impulse from feelings and it does not always run with the natural inclinations nor is it to be given only to those we know like or love us!

In other words, when we open and receive this gift, this love seeks the welfare of all, even those who don’t love us in return. This gift is the gift that keeps giving, and giving and giving and giving …

Have you un-wrapped that gift in your life yet? Do you realize you can’t give what you haven’t received?

If we have received that gift, then we carry that gift with us everywhere we go; it is with us! I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s such a comforting thought, as I go about this holiday season, trying desperately not to get caught up and celebrate the world does, but in a way that brings Him a smile and me joy, I am empowered to give that gift to others. The key is to acknowledge it in all things, with all people … this gift that money can’t buy!

Join me tomorrow for a special blog dedicated to someone whose love never reached me … until the last three weeks of her life! We’ll un-wrap the third gift on Thursday.

Wrapped in His Agape Love,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

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One Response to “The Second Gift”

  1. Jan Bachelor says:

    Okay, I am liking this blog very much, as I have been reading about “One Way Love” by Tullian Tchividjian. So far, I have an unveiling of this man’s thoughts on love and grace. Extremely interesting this “love” word isn’t it? Yep, it is definitely a GIFT!