What is Love?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Joshuastone7, Feb 13, 2024.

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    Jan Active Member

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    Stockholm Population Demographics

    About 27% of Stockholmers are immigrants or of non-Swedish background. About 15% of the city is foreign-born, which is the highest of any Nordic city. Many immigrants are concentrated in the city's suburbs, with a wide variety of languages spoken in Greater Stockholm, including: Swedish, Finnish, English, Bosnian, Arabic, Syriac, Kurdish, Persian, Dutch, Turkish, Spanish, Croation and Serbian. The largest foreign-born groups are Finns (18,000), Iraqis (16,400), Iranian (11,600).

    https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/stockholm-population

    It's true that majority of the immigrants are not black Africans. But in my neighbourhood may be they are about 10 % of the residents.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Others can not see our internal feelings. How do others know we love them? We show them by words and actions. It's the parable of the Good Samaritan. The Jewish Priests did nothing to help the injured man, yet it was a Samaritan who showed love. It did not matter what each person in the parable was thinking; what mattered was their actions.

    In the parable of the Two Sons, one son said he would go out in the field but didn't, and another said he would, yet didn't. Which showed love? Good intentions and internal feelings are irrelevant. It is our actions that matter.

    Do we obey God in our hearts or show it by action?

    What does fear restrain us from? It restrains us from showing love to our brothers. How is God love? He gave His son for us. He acted out of love. If He had just loved us internally but did nothing, what good is that love? If I love my child but never do good toward him, what good is my internal feelings for him?

    We can love others and still hurt them. We could not like someone and still show them love. You tell me what matters? Our own feelings, or how we treat others?

    Joshua
     
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    Luke 6:45 A good man brings good out of the good treasure of his heart, but a wicked man brings what is wicked out of his wicked treasure; for out of the heart’s abundance his mouth speaks.


    So heart means our feelings. For example if we feel love for the person next to us, we will only say positive and gente things. And we will be eager to do nice and pleasant things to him or her.

    That is what I try to do, feel love to persons next to them, so that I would be nice to them no matter what. But it is difficult.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Not necessarily. We can dislike or have no feelings for someone and do good toward them—that is the parable of the Good Samaritan and the Two Sons. We can also love someone in our hearts and still hurt them. So, what truly matters?

    Defining God's love, Scripture teaches us: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." Jhn 3:16

    Jehovah, out of His love, acted toward the world. And as Jesus reminded us, all things come out of the heart. We generally will act toward others how our hearts feel, although this is not always true. So, when we adjust our hearts to correspond to God's Will, we think of others first through our actions rather than focusing on our own.

    And this, I believe, is the meaning of love. It is an outward manifestation, not a selfish internal feeling.

    Joshua
     
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    Timothy Kline

    Timothy Kline Member

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    Characteristics of Love (Rich Nemec)

    I found this to be a respectable talk on this same subject, and akin with the topic of the ongoing discussion enough to share it. Certainly gave me pause and think about a few things I'm still clearly needing some work on as I continue in this war with the man of sin within me. o_O

    Tried to upload it but the file type wasn't allowed, so I'm linking it, instead. MP3 format.

    Offered on a for-what-it's-worth basis.

    ---Timothy
    a believer
     
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    Thanks Timothy, I will listen while I work. It took a while to grasp where the link was, that it is the header Characteristics of Love.
    I work on a building site, often I can listen while I work.
     
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    Thanks for the sermon. It was interesting to hear what he had to say about the lack of love in his church. He talked much about what love is and is not refering to 1 Corinthians 13.
    But I think he like the WT organization misunderstands what apostle Paul really meant.
     
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    We could replace love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with wisdom or righteousness and it would be true. So if a person is patient, kind, not jealous, does not brag, does not behave indecently etc he could in fact just be wise or righteous.

    Because of this it is important to pay attention to what the apostle Paul says in the previous verses. Because he speaks about the importance of having love. Love is something a person has or has not. In fact it fluctuates during the day. Because it is a feeling a person has for a moment.

    And to illustrate the importance of the feeling of love take this example: What do you prefer, to feel being loved by persons that surround you or to merely be treated politely and correctly?

    Is it not true that we all prefer to be sincerely loved than just being treated correctly?


    Here below I replaced love with wisdom and righteous to illustrate that these verses apply not exclusively to love.


    4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


    4 Wisdom is patient and kind. Wisdom is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


    4 Righteousness is patient and kind. Righteousness is not jealous. It does not brag, does not get puffed up, 5 does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't care what people think or feel about me; I only care how they treat me. This even applies to my son and wife. In our everyday lives, we can all feel different things about each other and the world around us. We don't always have glowing love in our hearts. Sometimes, we're not happy with each other. But all of that is irrelevant to how we treat each other. Our feelings come secondary to our actions in this household.

    Feelings are not measurable; they are selfish and unseen. They only matter to the person feeling them. The only thing the outside world can see is how you treat them. It may be nice to believe someone has feelings for us, but that's as useful as it is. It doesn't matter to me how anyone feels about me; feelings are subjective. I care about our responsibilities toward each other.

    Other people's feelings are my responsibility, not their own. When I think of others first by my actions, they don't have to be selfish and think of themselves first. When I do for others as they wish, I show I love them and build their love for me. I am responsible for other people's feelings, not my own. I want my family's feelings for me based on how I treat them, not how I feel about them, or simply blind love. We don't get to treat others however we wish and expect them to know we love them. That's not how life works...

    The kind of relationship you describe would be a narcissist's dream. You would be opening yourself up to be controlled by such people.

    So, I disagree... ;)

    Joshua
     
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    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Greetings, dear brother...

    As the speaker in the link you shared mentions, agape is a verb. Through studying God's Word and observing the world around us, I have learned that love is an action. Hence, JHVH gave His son on behalf of mankind, and hence, Jesus gave Himself freely.

    I generally agree with what he presented. However, I would have taken that one step further by stating more harshly that our actions, not our internal feelings, genuinely matter.

    As I said in my last post to Jan, our feelings come secondary to our actions in our household. When I say I don't care how others feel about me, that can be taken as unfeeling or uncaring; however, that can't be any further from the truth. When you understand that love is an action, your household will be more full of love than ever imagined.

    When we take responsibility for others' feelings before our own, we react and act toward them in a manner that considers them first. My wife likes quality time, so it's my job to understand and act according to that desire. She recognizes my actions as love, far more than simply saying, "I love you." The words are meaningless without the actions. As I know you understand, I grew up in a household that felt they could act however they wished and then expected me to respect their internal feelings of love for me. You don't get to treat someone negatively and use your internal feelings to justify it. Your feelings for someone are irrelevant if you hurt them; only your actions matter. Your actions toward others show your true feelings, whether or not they contradict your internal feelings. This is the very narrative of the Good Samaritan and the Two Sons.

    I've lived many lives in my fifty years, and I can tell you this unequivocally. Our home, currently by the Grace of God, is a model of love. Everyone thinks of the other first and acts in a way that benefits the other over their own feelings. Not that we don't make mistakes, but when this principle is applied, there is no greater love or peace I have ever experienced.

    Joshua
     
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    Thanks Joshua for sharing your experience. I am happy for you that your family life is working well.
     

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