By: Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC CTMH CCTP
We are confused as to what love really is. Sometimes we will say we love our ice cream, name brand clothes, job, and like. We confuse sex or fun with love. We confuse gifts as love. Although gifts and sex or fun are elements that occur on occasions due to a heart of love, be not deceived since these also occur outside of a heart of love. With such confusion then how do we love one another?
It is best to define love: Our authority is derived from John 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, 2 Peter 3:9, Ephesians 4:32, and John 3 (Holy Bible), then contrast this to Self-love (today’s society).
Love is patient: Defined as long suffering, persevering, enduring, action towards others despite how we feel. Although we are able to overcome or render retaliation-we instead choose to be humble and meek.
Love is kind: Doing kind things for others imply to help without any underpinning of ulterior motives. These are a consistent and continued act of kindness, with a tender heart towards others; even if we do not feel like it and even if we are wronged-showing grace and forgiveness, seeking no evil or revenge. Question: How does our behavior measure up with our spouse, children, friends, co-workers? One’s true self is demonstrated mainly at home.
Love is glad: When others achieve, are awarded, are happy, or successful.
Love is humble and meek: With a gentle spirit and servant heart with the understanding that everything that I have is from God, and not of my own goodness or doing. My intelligence, opportunities, inner strength, talents, skills, personality, and all-comes from HIM. He gives me wisdom and strength to do what I cannot do alone. He gave me my mind and heart. Therefore, I do not judge others or feel better than any other person. Everything I do is to glorify God and not to be seen of man. Whatever I do, I do my best under God’s guidance since I do this for Him and not for my own glory while reflecting Christ to others.
In contrast, let’s consider Self-love:
Self-love is impatient: Will not be inconvenienced, and is easy to be provoked. Easily irritable and quick to react negatively. Vengeful and with a killer instinct when wronged or when placed in a position that is challenging.
Self-love is mean/cruel: Will seek things to complain about. Showing mockery and ridicule towards others who are not like us. Using harsh tone and words towards others over the smallest of things. Condemning and quick judgement of others, with threats towards other’s person, place, things, relationship, or space. Manipulation and subtle controlling behaviors for selfish gain while imposing guilt, shame, or loss.
Self-love is envious of others: Resentful of other’s success, happiness, achievements, gifts, talents, or blessings. Please consider Cain vs Able; or Joseph’s brothers as they allowed their envy to kill and harm their sibling.
Self-love is proud/prideful: Boasting, bragging, a scoffing; as one places self-forefront. These people use many “I, me, mine, my, and self within their verbiage and in their action as they will rise at the expense of others, while placing others under oneself, using others, betraying others, and not giving others credit earned. I am important! Look at me! What can you do for me?
So, how do I measure up when I consider my actions and mind or heart of love towards others?
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