Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | December 9, 2011

Love’s Life Lessons, Part 2 by David Bower

The Challenges of Being a Flawed Human Being

In Part 1 I mentioned the nature of love as described in I Corinthians 13: 4-7 and its application to self-love. The distinction between self-approval and self-love is a vital point which must be kept in mind.

It is unlikely that we will approve of everything we have done in our lives but in spite of our failures we are usually willing to endure and try to work past our mistakes; it is this quality of sufferance that we should apply to others as well.

Over the years I’ve noticed that many, if not most of us, have wondered how the Lord could love someone so unlovely and unworthy as we see ourselves from time to time. We must recognize the treachery of our feelings and refuse to be influenced by them; it is vital to operate on the basis of what we know from God’s word and not on our feelings.

God knows us infinitely better than we know ourselves and tells us He loves us anyway and will love us for all eternity. In Romans 8:35-39 the Apostle Paul tells us of the certainty of God’s love for us in very strong, clear terms. Our place in His love is sustained by His faithfulness to us, not our faithfulness to Him, praise God!

Love Itself Can Help us Understand

Although we may know we should operate on the basis of what the Bible tells us, our feelings are hard to ignore; is there some way we can better understand God’s love for us from our experience? I believe God has given us a way to better understand and feel His love for us.

Although it is impossible for any believer to generate a positive emotional response toward everyone, it is possible to maintain a charitable, benevolent attitude toward almost everyone; this, I believe, is the message of I Corinthians 13.

Love is part of the fruit of the Spirit and is ours, supernaturally, when the Holy Spirit is in control of our lives and enables us to love with the love of chapter 13; in the power of the Holy Spirit we can maintain a benevolent, charitable attitude toward others.

A Case in Point

At this point I stopped writing and started thinking about an example I could use to illustrate my thoughts; I stood up to stretch and looked out of the door to my office and saw our black and white cat lying on the floor and realized she was the perfect illustration of what I wanted to say.

This cat, our Abby, had come unexpectedly into our lives; the last of our three cats had died over seven years before and we had decided not to get any more cats because of our age. That had worked until one fateful morning when I took our car over to the dealership for an oil change.

As the work was being done on the car I decided to walk around and look at cars on the lot; in the process I noticed a very small black and white clump under one car. As I looked closer I realized this was a small kitten all curled up so I walked over and knelt down a few feet away from the car.

I spoke to the small clump and a tiny kitten head stuck up and looked back at me; she was the cutest little thing I had seen in a long time and I spoke to her encouraging her to come out from under the car.

Ninja Cat Comes into Our lives

 

Ninja Cat

Not only did she come out, she came out on her hind legs with her front paws in the air like a ninja cat and wanted to play. About that time a used car salesman walked out the door and asked me if I wanted a cat; this one, he said, had been hanging around the used car lot for about two weeks and they had fed her scraps now and then.

Considering the decision we had made about no more cats, I realized I had to talk to my wife and see how she felt about bringing another cat into our family. I called her and told her I’ve got a problem and then hastened to reassure her it was not involving me or the car, but a tiny kitten.

I told her about the kitten and it didn’t take long to decide the Lord wanted us to care for this tiny, skinny little life He had so unexpectedly brought into our lives. After a bit of effort we finally caught that elusive kitten and got her in a box provided by the dealership. 

She was fearful and hungry when I got her home and it was several days before she would finally come out from behind the dryer; that is all history and she is now Abby, a delightful, loved member of our family.

Abby at peace with her new surroundings

When I see her living her little life around the house I’m moved with feelings of loving concern for her well being. I realize that if I, with my flawed human nature, can love this little cat, then God, in His perfection, can love me too.

This is one small example how greater harmony can be developed between our knowledge and our feelings, as I love others, I feel God’s love for me! What a blessing!


Responses

  1. David : What do you think or opinion of the Watchmen Video Broadcast?

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    • Maryjane:
      I was not familiar with and had never seen a Watchmen Video Broadcast; I searched for it on the web and found Pastor Michael W. Hoggard? I’ll check it out and get back with you.
      David

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      • Thank you David; I knew that I could count on you. I thank God that you are in my life.

        MJ

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    • Maryjane:
      I’ve watched more of his video broadcasts and have not found anything yet with which I disagree doctrinally. I do not share his conviction that the King James translation is the only valid translation of the original languages. I’m of the opinion the New International Version and some others are responsible translations that communicate well the intent of the inspired writers in their original languages.
      David

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  2. David,

    I love this post and your explanation of the meaning of that passage as having a “charitable” attitude towards someone versus our Western concept of “love.”

    We can’t control our feelings but we can *choose* to treat someone well in spite of their actions towards us. To believe otherwise, that we have to have the “warm fuzzies” for everyone, sets us up for discouragement because we can’t live up to an impossible standard.

    I do not share his conviction that the King James translation is the only valid translation of the original languages.

    That is kind of an odd position to hold. I use the NLT for my study Bible, but sometimes I will read the NIV for comparison of translation. The KJV is my favorite to memorize from though. The language is so lyrical that it makes it easier to remember.

    But the cool think about the King James Bible is the collection of people they brought together and how intense the process was. The other translations that were popular in England at the time had a political slant. For the KJV, they brought together people from all walks of life and the primary importance was the accuracy in an effort to get as close to the meaning in the original text as possible.

    The National Geographic did a story on it in honor of the 400 year anniversay of the Bible.
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/12/king-james-bible/nicolson-text

    They said that they read each passage aloud as they were working on it to make sure it sounded just right.

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    • Carla:

      Thank you for your response; your comment reflects the idea I wanted to communicate, the distinction between attitudinal love and emotional love.

      Language is an interesting topic; what fascinates me about language is its fluidity, it is always changing according to usage. Whereas the Koine Greek of the New Testament no longer changes because it is no longer in use, English is very dynamic and changes over the years. Our English today bears less and less resemblance to the English of 1611 and is continuously moving even farther apart as our American English is obviously different from Great Britain’s English.

      The purpose of a translation is to communicate to the reader as accurately as possible the meanings and thoughts of the writer; therefore the translator has the responsibility of knowing the way in which words are used and understood by that reader in the contemporary societal context and that is a very dynamic consideration. To say that a translation in 1611, reflecting the English usage of that day is superior to a careful contemporary translation is not really rational.

      While it may sound more poetic many of the words used had a different meaning in 1611 than they do today; it becomes increasingly difficult to communicate the meanings of the original Greek using English words that have become totally obsolete and no longer mean what they did in 1611.

      Having said that I will also say the translators of the King James Version did a remarkably good job and acknowledge again my usage of a King James translation as my primary study Bible. The exact version I use is the 1967 edition of the “New Scofield Reference Bible” being the “Authorized King James Version, With introduction, annotations, subject chain references and such word changes in the text as will help the reader.”

      In addition I also use the NIV, The Message, the New Scofield Study Bible, New American Standard 1988, and the original Greek text using the Nestle Greek Text version. We are truly blessed today with our abundance of good translations of the Bible.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment,

      David

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  3. While it may sound more poetic many of the words used had a different meaning in 1611 than they do today; it becomes increasingly difficult to communicate the meanings of the original Greek using English words that have become totally obsolete and no longer mean what they did in 1611.

    Yes, that is why it is hard for me to understand how some people take the position that the KJV is the only “valid” translation.

    Speaking of language, my mom and I were talking today about Cymatics and the research that Hans Jenny has done. He discovered that spoken Hebrew will actually produce patterns. This article on it said that Jenny describes how the phenomena works as a “trinity” of vibration and periodicity, form, and motion.

    This totally ties into the fact that each individual’s DNA can be sequenced into a unique song.

    This is an excerpt of a post I came across as I was reading about Cymatics. The forum it is from is on antigravity and free energy.

    . . . that sound may have played and important role in the creation and construction of the universe, and I suspect he may be right. Not only that, but from the evidence produced in cymatic experiments from the likes of Hans Jenny and Ernst Chladni, it suggests that not only was sound important in constructing the universe, it also appears to be crucial in maintaining and perpetuating creation (existence) and all it’s possible forms, substances and functions. Original source

    , , , Hmm . . . do you think? They now “think sound had something to do with creation” . . . just like Genesis said.

    God spoke, and the earth took form.

    It is just so amazing to me that in every area, science is literally uncovering the hand of God.

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    • Carla:

      It is really exciting to consider the possibilities revealed in this line of investigation; when one considers the presence of sound emanating from God’s creation it made me wonder about earthquakes. Animals seem to react in advance of earthquakes; I wonder if they are hearing some sort of dissonance that causes them to react. To the best of my knowledge science has not yet determined what it is that triggers the response in animals just before an earthquake, but something obviously alerts them to the coming seismic event.

      There could well be vastly more significane to the usage of spoke when it comes to God’s creative process; that wouldn’t surprise me in the least, the entire book of Genesis is so understated.

      I have no doubt that someday we will be permitted to enjoy many more of the wonders God has prepared for His children; Cymatics seems to gave us a preview of some of those wonders. I have occasionally wondered what the method of communication will be in eternity whether it would be audible or strictly telepathic. If audible then I wonder what language we’ll use; I suspect it might be something totally new of perhaps Hebrew.

      Nevertheless I have fun speculating. Thanks again for your comment and tell your mother hello for me.

      David

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