Love: there are a ton of definitions that express the meaning to this wonderful word. “an intense feeling of deep affection, a great interest and pleasure in something, feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).”
There are also types of love: storge or familiar love, a bondage by chance, like the parent child relationship. Not based on the value of a person. A ready made love so to speak.
Philia or a friend bond. People that share common values, interest and activities. It is a higher level because it is freely chosen.
Eros or romantic love, being in love.
Agape or God love, exists even when circumstances change, it is a charity love, non selfless.
This mornings topic came about from a devotional I read a few days ago. “New Morning Mercies” by Paul David Tripp, and I have been evaluating relationships in my life this week. David says, “consider one passage loaded with essential relational wisdom: “[live together] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:2-3).
David goes through all these things but the one that captured my attention today is the one that C.S. Lewis describes as being the worst sin and that is pride. David said that “pride always destroys a relationship. It causes you to feel more entitled and to be more demanding than serving and giving. It drives you to insist on control. It makes you have to be right. It forces others to submit to your lordship. Pride is an anti-relational way of having a relationship.”
This hit me hard especially as I examined my relationships with friends and family. I began to question, how many times I have said things to be nice and not hurt another’s feeling or out of fear what the response would be like? How many times have I shrunk down so little so someone else could be big or right? I never want to hurt another’s feelings but I have said this before and I’m sure someone famous has said this as well but, what good does it do being small, to be unreal, to pretty much lie for someone else’s feelings. Being confronted with this truth, I feel false and it feels ugly. When put like this, I am a liar. Which turns right back around to my prideful nature of trying to be kinder to others. It does not feel Christ like nor does it feel honorable. I question where this comes from. My southern Christian background, my codependent tendencies? Lately, I have looked at the lifestyles of my older than me ladies, my ladies that are filled with wisdom and knowledge and kindness. True kindness, like doing things for strangers, offering wise words to the confusion of others, hanging out with children and puppies, helping homeless people. I could go on and on about their good deeds but I will stop there. The thing that I have learned most from these ladies is they do not have a strong presence of God. One has no presence of God. So how are they so healthy in their nature, morals and values? All of them are very strong willed and speak their mind but in a gracious way, sometimes harsh but gracious nonetheless. They all three have a strong sense of self worth and know what they have to offer. So the next question is if this whole Christianity thing can be used as a quick acceptance of “oh that’s a good person, strong Christian”? In my life, there has always been a tie to doing these things, being a good Christian and almost like non Christians do not possess these morals, values and instincts. I guess when I was growing up, the “non Christian” would have looked like a homeless person, with no direction or guidance, no education. The truth about that is the homeless man usually has mental illness, or abuse of alcohol or drugs, broken-hearted or broken spirited. I understand all these things, I have experienced all these things but because the kindness of others I have always had a pillow under my head and a roof over it. So my big lesson of today is I am going to stop putting Christians in a top notch category, just because they call themselves that. In fact the only thing that really means today is that someone has accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts. It does not mean they have all the answers to life’s problems or that they even have a direction. Once upon a time when we could all go to church, I remember the pastor saying that, “this is a perfect place for imperfect people” one of the reasons I started going back to church, because I knew I had big faults, big problems and big needs. So how I continued thinking all those members around me were so perfect, is beyond me but evidently I did deep down. The other thing is, I cannot be little any more. I cannot say what anyone needs to hear just because they need to be big or validated or whatever. I need to say whatever is on my mind and in my heart especially if it involves my feelings, my self worth and my values. I do not want to feel ugly or dishonest anymore. I do not want to have friendships that disrespect that value and cannot accept me for who I am. That is very hard to write but that is true because I value the people in my life but at the same time I’m growing and getting large, there is no need for me to be littled anymore.
And that is enough to raise your thoughts to what may happen when the redeemed soul, beyond all hope and nearly beyond belief, learns at last that she has pleased Him whom she was created to please. There will be no room for vanity then. She will be free from the miserable illusion that it is her doing. With no taint of what we should now call self-approval she will most innocently rejoice in the thing that God has made her to be, and the moment which heals her old inferiority complex forever will also drown her pride… Perfect humility dispenses with modesty.”C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
Much Love 💜 Much Life