What do you mean when you say "I love you"?
If you mean that YOU feel a certain way about someone OR you are telling them YOU give them value, then this is about YOU...this is boasting! Can the act of saying "I love you" NOT be LOVE? Clearly, the non-contradictory definition of "I love you" is something else.
Remember, love DOESN'T seek its own way.
The quickest way to determine if someone is exhibiting LOVE is to see who they are trying to justify. Is the person trying to justify themselves...prove themselves right...be contrastive on everyone else? This ISN'T love.
OR is the person trying to justify another...be contrastive on themselves...look for how the other person can be right? This is love.
We saw this last week with the verse from John about the Father "drawing" people.
We saw how the Calvinists interpret this verse.
I want to show them love...I will look for how they are right.
There are three possible ways the verse can go:
1. The Father draws ONLY the ones who end up in heaven.
2. The Father draws people who choose NOT to go to heaven.
3. The Father draws EVERYONE and people choose to go to heaven AND not to go to heaven.
The implications of #1 are that people CAN'T resist the drawing of the Father AND God is responsible for those who go to hell.
The implications of #2 are that people CAN resist the drawing of the Father AND God is responsible for some people who go to hell.
The implications of #3 are that people CAN resist the drawing of the Father AND God is NOT responsible for those who go to hell.
When someone is unable to identify ALL the possible options, they are PROVING they are focused on being right and are NOT acting in love like Jesus commanded us.
Personally, I actively reach out to people who have stated a position in order to identify and understand ALL the options before I reach a conclusion. Even if I thought the person was an enemy, Jesus Himself said to love your enemies. Failure to reach out is PROOF the person DOESN'T understand or live in love.
The people who have reached out with public and private comments to me have PROVEN their love...they are focused on understanding.
People who refuse to reach out to me, YET still draw conclusions AND communicate with others are ONLY focused on maintaining the FEELING they are right...this is comfort driven...this is the epitome of self-justification...this is not LOVE.
Tomorrow, we will cover the non-contradictory definition of "I love you"...
DEFINITION FOR "I LOVE YOU"
We saw there are two causes for LOVE...for giving a value and not expecting a return from that person. The two reasons are "Right" and "Just".
"Right" means you initiate the giving of a value in order to get a value back from God...not receiving from the person you are giving to because this is the right thing to do. The result is you are owed and Justice ensures you get what you are owed. Saying, "I love you" in this case would mean that you are pointing out you are owed...which would be boasting and, in effect, getting the value you are owed by drawing attention to yourself. Saying, "I love you" must apply to the other cause of LOVE.
The ONLY other reason you would LOVE is because of justice...because you are the debtor and you are trying to get back to even. So, LOVE is also the giving of a value and not expecting a return because you believe you owe...because you have already received a value. You are NOT initiating this exchange.
When a moral person says, "I love you," they are saying they recognize they owe a value. This is actually a humbling experience. This admission of being in debt makes the person vulnerable. This admission is made unilaterally and does not require anyone to say, "I love you" back.
In reality, this is not what most people mean. Otherwise, how can they get so offended at you so soon after saying they love you? This person experiences vulnerability because he or she wants you to respond in kind.
When most people say, "I love you," they are speaking of an emotion. The cause of confusion with the word LOVE comes from society's primary use of the word to describe an emotion. You can't control an emotion to the point of intentionally feeling a specific way all of the time. This LOVE cannot be intentional.
Tomorrow, we will see how it is possible for two people to say, "I love you" to each other...
There are two general ways to be profitable. The first way is through justice. If you give a value and don't expect a return, then justice will get you the EXACT quantity of value back that you gave. If a value is taken from you and you handle it well (suffering), then justice will get you the EXACT quantity of value back that was taken from you.
The other way to be profitable relies on uniqueness. If you value something differently than someone else, it is possible to exchange with that person and BOTH people are profitable. THIS IS AN AMAZING CONCEPT...take a moment to understand this COMPLETELY.
If I have something I value at $10 and you also value it at $10. If you give me $10 for the object, neither of us is profitable. However, if I value the object at $5 and you value it at $15, if you give me $10 for it we are BOTH profitable by $5!!!!!
The ONLY way for EVERYONE to be profitable is for people to exchange with others who value things differently!
We OUGHT to value "diversity" BECAUSE it is the ONLY way for EVERYONE to gain.
Today, you hear people say:
"We should value people IN SPITE of their diversity." OR
"We should value people who are different BECAUSE not valuing diversity is bad."
These people are PROVING the lack of understanding with these last two statements.
So, if I give you a value and don't expect a return...I am loving you. If you don't give me a value back, then I will be profitable through justice...I will get the EXACT value back through God. Your action defines you as my enemy...not my action! Notice, our response to God's love defines us as either an enemy or a friend...God is not to blame. God LOVES EVERYONE.
If you are moral, you will realize that you got a value and owe me. However, YOU determine what you owe back to me. You determine what you would have given in order to get the value I gave to you. Then you would return that value to me.
If that value is small, then I would return a small value back and this will eventually end. There is NOTHING immoral about this. We just aren't that profitable.
However, if you value what I initially gave you at a very high level because of your uniqueness, you are going to give a big value back. You may even be unable to give a value back that is equal in your eyes...but you will give a value all the same. If the value you give back is seen by me as something huge BECAUSE of my uniqueness, I will give you a big value back. I may even be unable to give a value back that is equal in my eyes.
Notice: This exchange could go on FOREVER if what each of us gives something that is seen as a greater value by the receiver.
Notice: Each of us may NEVER be able to get rid of the feeling that we owe the other because the value we are getting from each other is TREMENDOUS. We could BOTH say, "I love you" and mean it!
LOVE NEVER ENDS...LOVE NEVER FAILS.
Tomorrow, we will see how this type of LOVE is CENTRAL to the meaning of life.
LOVE GOES FOREVER
One of Paul's longest sentences contains an overview of eternity. I will put my comments in parentheses:
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;"
(WHY did God do this?)
"For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
(Notice this is for the EDIFYING (profitability) of the body. How long will we need this?)
"Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:"
(Until we all together appear as a perfect person LIKE Christ! THAT is going to take a LONG time...this will occur in Heaven.)
"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive;"
(DOCTRINES are the building blocks of a belief system/worldview. The key to unity is getting doctrine right. Is our doctrine based on tradition or the Word of God? Our inability to be in unity is because WE have faulty doctrine...NOT because God wants us to be in disunity. God's doctrine is non-contradictory. Traditional doctrine can't be explained in a non-contradictory manner.)
"But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:"
(Paul is focused on the goal and one of the requirements is "speaking the truth in love".)
"From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Some people say Western philosophy values the individual, while Eastern philosophy values the group.
The Bible values BOTH!
The Bible realizes it takes BOTH to have BOTH!
When every individual is doing their purpose to their fullest extent, then the whole body benefits. This long sentence ENDS with the conclusion of how the body makes INCREASE! The answer is LOVE.
When every part gives to every other part and doesn't expect ANYTHING back BECAUSE it is receiving much more than it can give (due to uniqueness), then it is LOVE and this can go on forever IF unique beings are exchanging in their uniqueness.
Does the current body of Christ ENCOURAGE uniqueness?
Does the current body of Christ try to hold everyone to the same EFFECTS and deny uniqueness?
Why do YOU think we aren't seeing God's Will come to pass on earth as it does in Heaven?
Obviously it is NOT God's fault...so it is our fault.
We are not loving each other.
Isn't it interesting that with ALL the problems in the world, there is a solution. There is a way for us to ALL get what we need...there is a way for ALL of us to be profitable...it is LOVE.
Giving a value and not expecting anything in return, whether you initiate it (Right) or do it in response to what you have been given (Just), is the ONLY way to exist for eternity!
The most often quoted chapter about LOVE ends this way:
"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." (I Corinthians 13:8-13)
Why? Because it NEVER fails...it will go on forever.
This passage ACTUALLY says the things that will cease are the "childish" things: prophecy, tongues, faith...
The perfect comes in when we get to Heaven.
In Heaven we won't need prophecy or hope...what will we hope for that we haven't received?
As for faith, we will see everything and we will be receiving so much value from each other, there won't be time to think about something that hasn't happened yet. There's no need for faith UNLESS you have a contradictory definition of FAITH.
The verse before the LOVE chapter introduces this chapter by stating: "...and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way."
LOVE is THE ADULT behavior.
LOVE is the behavior that goes against our flesh.
YOUR ability to demonstrate LOVE tells a lot about YOU!
Paul says the "childish" things WILL PASS AWAY.
The adult things WILL NOT PASS AWAY!
Looking way back to the passage that gave us our definition of LOVE (Luke 6:34), it can be read with even greater insight.
Jesus begins by saying to love our enemies.
Jesus says IF you love them which love you, what thank have ye?
Then Jesus says IF we love them which don't love us, then our reward shall be great and we will be the children of the Highest (We shall be like God, initiating the giving of a value and not expecting a return).
Notice, loving your friends DOESN'T mean you may still not owe OR you won't get ANY reward. Jesus is pointing out to people who lived under the Law (which denied uniqueness) they would have less reward than what they would have through God if they gave to their enemies. Jesus did this by asking a question.
The KEY is that when you LOVE (give first and don't expect a return) you are not in control of whether the person gives back. However, this passage from Luke 6:27-35 says that if they don't give back, THEY are stating they are your enemy. If they do give back, THEY are stating they are not your enemy. God says this passage will give you His perspective by being a child of the Highest.
Likewise, how people respond to God's LOVE is THEIR statement whether they are an enemy of God or not.
God LOVES everyone.
LOVE is the most excellent way...but it is ONLY for adults in the faith.
It is the individual's fault if they don't respond as a friend to God and end up in Heaven.
Notice, God gives us access RIGHT NOW to one adult quality that will last forever!
God CAN'T be wrong and/or unjust BECAUSE He has provided everything and our only responsibility is to choose to humble our flesh and let Him work through us in GRACE. This ability is NOTHING to brag about...humbling yourself is the opposite of bragging. Love DOESN'T boast.
Those who think that God allowing the individual the ability to choose salvation THEN gives the individual reason to brag DON'T UNDERSTAND SALVATION AND LOVE!!!!
Ask people what their definition is for LOVE and I LOVE YOU...it will tell you a lot about their worldview...it will show you their contradictions.
In fact, next week we will wrap up this discussion about LOVE with some very interesting implications resulting from these definitions that quickly point out the contradictions in the worldviews of people who can't give non-contradictory definitions.