Post Reply [Article] "Understanding Love" by Matthew Lindsey
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Posted 2/13/08
Understanding Love
by: Matthew Lindsey
[email protected]

Introduction
The Understanding series of sermons and publications is for people that are having a hard time with life and/or want to understand it from a different perspective. In this edition well look at the key values of actual love from the biblical point of view. Many do not believe in the bible but it is a great place for learning what values we should have as humans. I encourage you to read it for learning those key values behind each story and apply them to your life.

What Is Love?

Real love is to feel tender affection for somebody, for example, a close relative or friend, or for something such as a place, an ideal, or an animal. People often confuse it with the transitive and intransitive verb which is to feel romantic and longing for somebody. That definition is not the only aspect of love it is much more then that. Love has many aspects that we are not aware of because it is very complex.

Strength of Love
Many people see that there is a powerful force to love. As it says from Exodus 15:13:


In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling.

Lets take a moment to examine that so I can explain this better. In this verse Moses was singing about the Lords strength which is love. As you can see it says Love will lead your people it is a good example on how strong love is. Imagine, if you love someone would you die for them? The answer would be yes in most cases. Why, because you love them.

How Mercy Plays In Love?
The definition of mercy is a disposition to be compassionate or forgiving of others. The next passage is a famous quote you probably heard.


Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people,
but love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)


This is saying instead of quarling over something, but show compassion and forgives them. The only thing that stands in the way of both love and mercy is pride. As example I yell at you for no reason, and you got heated and did not forgive me? What is it that is preventing you from forgiving me, pride of being hurt? I want to say is this that pride is always conquered with love. Why, because pride can only last for so long before it dies or gets old. As for love it lasts for ever, shown mercy and love only shortens prides life.

How Compassion Plays In Love
The definition of compassion is to have sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help. I would like to share with you my story before I came to where I am today. I was breaking emotionally. If it wasnt for a group of people I ran into I wouldnt be here today! I would have killed myself or be at a bottom of a barrel in San Francisco because thats where I was heading. What brought me to this state of emotions was that I was pursuing something that was out of my grasp. I for one didnt have the resources financially and support to do it. Then one day I met this group that had compassion for me. These people showed love and not only that they encouraged me to keep going. Their example of helped me in that time of my life. They never once judged me for my actions they just showed compassion and mercy.

I would say this passage is an example of what these people did for me:


When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born.
Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

I am implying that we fail not only with people we do not know but we do not use compassion with everyone in our lives including family. At that time of my life I had no compassion for my familys feelings and many other people at that time. I admit I only thought about myself mostly.

To Love Is To Be Slow To Respond
We often respond spontaneously to people in anger. I feel this next passage will be an example of what we should do:

The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love
and forgiving sin and rebellion. (Numbers 14:18)


The LORD is slow to anger is an example of what should happen if we took time to think things out before we speak. Issues could be resolved much faster and peacefully. On the next part it says and forgiving sin In other words to not raise and rebel against wrong doing, but to calmly resolve the issue.

Self-Sacrifice of Loving
This is one of most interesting parts of love and people fear this the most because to love someone is to sacrifice themselves for that person they love. I want to stress the fact it could make a world of difference to that person if we were to make a sacrifice for them such as love. Why fear it? You are doing something good for them. I am also implying to do this to even that grumpy old man that is at the end of your own block. This one lesson can be used in many areas of life. Some say they cant do this. They just dont know they are being selfish. It is of them to with hold that expression that could change a frown to a smile. Jesus made sacrifices of love for all that came to him.

Trust Is Part of Love
In this next quote Jesus was asking the disciples why they didnt trust in Gods strength to deliver what they need:


"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (Matthew 6:25-30)

Trusting someone takes faith to know that they will meet your needs. As Jesus was saying God can meet the needs of the disciples all they just had to do was have faith in him. He can give them everything they needed. That concept applies to our relationships with each other also.

Affection Is In the Equation of Love
What is Affection? It is a fond or tender feeling toward somebody or something. I would like to imply that we can lose all reasoning here. We sometimes think lust is being affectionate. Lust is physical desire, possessive and wanting something that is completely consuming. Coercion can cause harm when it is confused with affectionate acts.
You may have heard the story about the mother picking up a car that was on top of her son youll know what I am saying. The intense emotion of fear and her affection for her son made that possible.

Another good example is Jesus being nailed to the cross. The bible says he died for our sins. The whole thing was officially was a signed deal when he presented the bread and wine. He used these symbols saying it was his body and the blood of the covenant. The point I am getting at is an ultimate sign of affection.

Showing Gratitude for Getting Love
This is an intriguing concept to me because we became so foreign to love we do not know how to respond to love. As an example I went up to a stranger and offering to help him with what he was doing. He replied to me in a stern voice, No, I do not need help. Another person I offered to help went ballistic on me (ranting and raving). I had a disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder. I found myself not knowing how to respond to some situations. My common response is was to flee. I found myself fleeing from positive situations; love was one of them in some cases.

Four things we could do is (1): stop; think; evaluate; then respond (2) be grateful for the smallest things people do for you (3) we shouldnt rebuke loved ones for his or her affection (4) have mercy on those that rebuke you.

My Conclusion
I know from experience that it takes work and effort to change the way you think! Part of the Disorder I had was to change and correct my way thinking. You may get discouraged but I want you to know applying love to areas of your life will not only increase your mental health but affected the lives of others. I also want to say when your discouraged just think of how you have made an impact on others for showing such unconditional love. Last but not least I would like to encourage you to set an example of unconditional love for others to follow.
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Posted 2/14/08
My favourite parts were:


The only thing that stands in the way of both love and mercy is pride.
...

To Love Is To Be Slow To Respond
We often respond spontaneously to people in anger.

...to love someone is to sacrifice themselves for that person they love

...Trusting someone takes faith to know that they will meet your needs

We sometimes think lust is being affectionate. Lust is physical desire, possessive and wanting something that is completely consuming. Coercion can cause harm when it is confused with affectionate acts.


Another good example is Jesus being nailed to the cross. The bible says he died for our sins. The whole thing was officially was a signed deal when he presented the bread and wine. He used these symbols saying it was his body and the blood of the covenant. The point I am getting at is an ultimate sign of affection.

This is an intriguing concept to me because we became so foreign to love we do not know how to respond to love.

Four things we could do is (1): stop; think; evaluate; then respond (2) be grateful for the smallest things people do for you (3) we shouldnt rebuke loved ones for his or her affection (4) have mercy on those that rebuke you.

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Posted 2/14/08

emm0548 wrote:



How Mercy Plays In Love?
The definition of mercy is a disposition to be compassionate or forgiving of others. The next passage is a famous quote you probably heard.


Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people,
but love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)


This is saying instead of quarling over something, but show compassion and forgives them. The only thing that stands in the way of both love and mercy is pride. As example I yell at you for no reason, and you got heated and did not forgive me? What is it that is preventing you from forgiving me, pride of being hurt? I want to say is this that pride is always conquered with love. Why, because pride can only last for so long before it dies or gets old. As for love it lasts for ever, shown mercy and love only shortens prides life.




This is the truth! Amen
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