"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve"
Bilbo Baggins' Party Speech from 'The Lord of the Rings' Book 1
The Bible says that 'love is the fulfillment of the law' ( Romans 13:10 ). There is no law that says that you must 'like' someone, as Bilbo said above, in order to love them. I daresay that we, too often, find his words true! Even we, as Christians, have a hard time, sometimes, liking those that we love. The sense of 'love' that we get in this day and age, from movies and especially television, is not true love; but rather a feeling, more akin to liking someone. It is also viewed as an animal lust, as we see in too many movies and television shows today. Too often; when a man and women declare their love for each other: the next scene shows them falling into bed together, in some state of undress. 'The morning after' many times brings a different attitude, and some sort of 'problem'! It may be that one partner or the other will not have been satisfied; they may figure out, after the deed had been done, that they really don't like the others personality. Scripture also say that 'love................ does not seek it's own' ( is not selfish- I Corinthians 13:5 ). Paul himself said earlier in this same letter, I Corinthians 10:33, that 'just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.' True love then, is sot selfish; it seeks the well-being, the edification of others. The 'love' that we see in most media today, whether it be the movies, television, books, and even the newspaper, seeks it's own liking, or 'lusts', above the needs of others! You probably heard the saying, 'look out for number one', the idea that if you don't look out for ( take care of-I'm guilty of this attitude sometimes ) yourself; no one else will! As Christians; we like to say that we have, as we should, agapao, or un-selfish ( unconditional ) love for each other, as our Savior shows to us. This is true; we can have an agapao, or agape', love for the brethren, because of the agapao that He first showed to us! The apostle John wrote, in I John 4:19, that 'we love Himb]">[b] because He first loved us.' John said earlier, in I John 2:5, that 'whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him.' I know ( from experience ) that our love does not always 'seem' perfect', or even un-selfish; in fact, I'd be willing to bet that even the most sincere act of love ( on our part ) has an ulterior motive behind it, even unconsciously! When John penned the words above; I'm sure that he felt the same way about it; but really, in context, John was saying rather that the love of God is fulfilled, or completed, in us, when we share the love that we have been given with others! Earlier, in I John 4:12, John says that 'if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.' I think that this is the key that we must alwas remember; 'His love has been perfected in us': We must love one another, but it is God who *has* perfected, or completed, His love in in and through us; remember, He first lo9ved ( us ), enabling us to love ( Him, and others )!
I pray that this little study will edify my readers, and strengthen or desire to love others, not forgetting our 'first love', God; for it is through Him alone that we love others!
in and through the love of Christ,
and for His Kingdom,