Imagine you are walking to a baseball game. Many times cities do not have adequate parking for their spectators, so the fans have to park all over the city. During the walk to the game, you see a lot of different things. First, you might see a single man selling “PEANUTS! HOT DOGS! GET YOUR HOTDOGS!”. Second, you may see a couple selling their wares, probably a t-shirt or a 3 for 1 hat deal with your favorite team on them. Finally, you most likely will see a panhandler asking for money.
I don’t make it a habit to give to panhandlers, most of the time, it will not be used for a necessity, but it will be used for pleasure on their part; however, many people that wish to be kind will give them a dollar. It’s their prerogative to do that; it’s their money. We should not confuse love with kindness, however.
But, Michael, isn’t that loving to give money to a poor person?
Not necessarily; here’s another more contentious example. Imagine you have a child. You make a pact at the beginning of this child’s life, never to discipline him with negativity. You will never yell, you will never grab, you will never take his toys away. You will always simply talk to him and only tell him “No” and explain your actions.
Unfortunately, for a child, this manner of correction does not work. The child continues to cause problems. You continue to stick by your covenant that you will never be “mean” to the child. You say it is the only way to love someone is to not be mean to them. Or your definition of mean, so you tolerate the child’s actions. Therefore, the child thinks these actions are ok and demean anyone who tries to correct said child without you in a different manner than you when that child does not conform to local cultural standards.
We are told by leading psychologists that love is tolerance and kindness. But I measure a guess, at least in most people, no one would actually agree to that. Why is that? Let me explain.
I will use a graphic example, but it is necessary for this post. Let’s say an immediate family member was shooting up heroin daily, and you know this. Do you let him continue without confronting him about it at least a few times? Or do you give him money to continue with this habit that will eventually kill him? While you see him lay there high out of his mind, do you watch him with a smile, knowing that you’re showing him love, by letting him continue this habit?
OF COURSE NOT
Love, true love, is beating down the doors. It’s calling the police when necessary. Love is caring about another person so much you want them to see the right way to accomplish things.
As Christians, we are taught constantly God is love and that God is our Heavenly Father; however, many Christians, I think, would like to think God is our Heavenly Uncle who is nice and gives us things and never holds us accountable for our actions.
Society itself not only doesn’t hold accountable vile actions, but it also allows them to be celebrated in certain aspects. Rioting, Looting, Pedophilia (yes, even pedophilia), uncouth speech, emasculation, etc., are all things being celebrated, and we’re told to “love” all these people who do these things and not to point them out. To just “let them live their lives” or “they were mad” or excuse, excuse, excuse.
Love isn’t allowing someone off easy. Love isn’t tolerating bad things.
Love is correcting the bad things and showing people how to do good things
That is love, and that is God’s love.
Kindness is simply a way to make oneself feel better that they did something nice for someone else. Kindness with Love is showing someone that you care.
Tolerance is almost the opposite of love. Tolerance enables bad things to happen because to cause change to correct the bad course of action takes too much work. We must then accept that that one person will continue to pervert society’s original and God’s imposed standards because they are then validated in doing so. ** THAT’S NOT LOVE **
So while we will go over the different types of Love and the examples of true love in each, I want to clarify a particular point.
Love is a choice, not a feeling
If we are made in the image of God, and we have the ability to emulate God, then we can glean a few things from how God loves us.
When God chose Abraham, He chose to love him and his offspring, soon becoming a nation. When we are commanded to do things in the Bible, we are commanded to Love. If love was a feeling, we wouldn’t be commanded to do it. After all, Society always tells us that “You can’t help who you love.”
So a sinful society that doesn’t know God is telling us one thing and God is commanding us to do another.
If God knows we can love through His own commandments, then Love is a choice. Since love is a choice, we can then decide who, what, when, where, and how to love.
1 Corinthians 16:4 tells us quite plainly, “ Let all you do be done in love.” We can’t force ourselves to feel, but we can choose to do an action.
A reminder, when faced against the power and strength of society forcing down your throat the very opposite definition of love:
“Love is patient; love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Cor 13:4-7 CSB.
So yes, as a Christian, poke holes in society, point out what is wrong. Do not rejoice in unrighteousness (as our savior already paid the price for that) and stand firm in love. Remember the definition above, keep the faith, and all things will work together for good.
Part three is coming soon- “What is love // The definitions of love”