If you really keep the royal law found in scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you can be sure that that is true love. (James 2:8)
There is no one in the entire universe who does not at some point dream to love and be loved. However, not everyone has thought about the depth of that feeling or notion. Information about love picked up from novels is far from the truth. Love is described in such books as a great, wonderful feeling where everything goes smoothly, where nobody offends anybody, there is total agreement, all desires are satisfied, and things go effortlessly well. In real life things are different.
1. The first aspect of the wrong understanding of love: if a person loves someone, it means that he must always make his loved one feel good. He is obliged to make that loved one happy, say only pleasant things, pay numerous compliments, spare the partner’s feelings, not hurting, not offending or causing them to lose their temper. Youth and newly weds have such an understanding of love, but this is an incorrect understanding.
THERE IS NO LOVE WITHOUT PAIN. THERE IS NO TRUE LOVE WITHOUT SOMETHING THAT WILL CAUSE DISCOMFORT TO US.
True love is not indifferent. It speaks the truth and discloses negative truths with the aim of helping to change and improve the other person. It is obvious that such moments always tend to be painful.
If parents do not punish their children, aiming to protect them from pain and punishment even when they are wrong, they are raising selfish individuals for whom it will be difficult to coexist in society. An incorrect understanding of love is being formed in that child.
2. The second aspect of false understanding of love:
More often than not people have an illusion concerning themselves. Everyone is sure of their merits, considering themselves impeccable, “goody-goody.” When a loving person comes along and reproves them, indignation comes: “How could he?!” Offense and irritation in such a case shows the absence of a sound understanding of love.
Demonstration of true love is in the ability to speak calmly, drawing a partner’s attention to something that they need to correct in their life, helping them understand where his problem is.
3. The third aspect of a false understanding of love.
If God, parents, husband (wife), friends and my boss give me everything my soul desires, it means that I am loved. This is an incorrect understanding of love based on illusion. Conflicts, quarrels and even breakups emerge due to farfetched expectations not being realized. As a result depression sets in. Instead of spirit to control soul and soul the body, we allow our body to control our soul. In any case emotions disappear with the lapse of time, and people who are not taught to love properly encounter reality and get a huge disappointment.
True love is revealed not when you are given, but when you give, when you sacrifice by thinking of yourself least of all. Joy and happiness of people who have a false understanding of love depend on the behavior of the person they love. They are defined by external factors. For example: if something is not bought, somebody did not congratulate, smile or compliment, but reproved, corrected, or edified, there is no happiness. The happiness of such people is situational and not stable.
Love that is dependent on external actions cannot be called true love. True love and happiness come from within.
A person of integrity, who is mature and healthy conquers himself, his habits of indecisiveness, self-pity, self-importance and narcissism. He is patient and remains calm when everything goes wrong. He continues to love, remaining emotionally stable and tranquil in spite of difficult life circumstances. He is working on himself, building relationships and not just letting life take its course, and is always focused on performing the exploit of love. Years, hardships and trials only strengthen the union of couples or people who have already made the decision not to live for themselves, but for each other. Only such people are able to love properly and perceive love.
“Love always judges people from a positive view; it is distant from malicious intents, dishonesty and slander. It excuses weaknesses and tries to strengthen the other person with its power. It strives to do good to everyone, and it forgives and serves all people. Love never refuses to give good advice and is always ready to reconcile. It willingly endures instead of seeking revenge, it is far from appropriation of someone else. Love is always free and zealous to do good while constantly moving away from evil”, Penn William
The paradox of life is:
- When a person is ready to lose himself, he will save himself.
- When a person crucifies his flesh through fasting, retreats, a stable and systematic prayer life, regular reading of the bible, his spirit, the true essence of man, starts to live.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.(Lk.9:24)
Pain that leads to mortification of the flesh is good because it strengthens one’s personality.
The person who does not have a proper understanding of love thinks only of his own feelings, searching for his own benefit: “I need, I deserve.” Etc., It is pure self-admiration and worshipping of one’s self. God has created us to worship Him not ourselves.
NOT OUR OWN INTERESTS, BUT GOD’S, MUST BE FIRST PLACE!
Not our desires, but God’s and other people’s interests must be our highest priority.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves”. (Php. 2:3)
A woman who thinks that people have to take care of her has a false understanding of love. She will not be happy in her marriage due to her belief that people do not give her enough. Due to her constant dissatisfaction she attacks and condemns her husband, and as a result she acquires female diseases as negativity is transformed into a cancerous tumor in her body. Violation of the law of God’s love, who calls us to avail ourselves as a sacrifice to those whom we love will eventually lead to death.
We must learn to:
- Put aside our desires and will to the sidelines.
- Say to God:«Not me, but You! Not my desires, but Your desire, my Lord!»
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Lk.22:42)
This is a confirmation that we really love God and can come to know Him.
The system of God’s love is beautifully described in 1Cor. 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”
In this scripture, manifestation of true love is obvious. It restrains itself from all angles. It forgives, infringing upon its interests, it does not irritate, taming itself, it has long patience, conquering itself. All these points have simply this goal; we start to look at ourselves. Not what my husband does, but make the decision to change ourselves not our husband.
“Someone who never changes his opinions loves himself more than the truth”, Joseph Juber
The most important that with the right attitude of heart we do not lose anything, but in the contrary, sacrificial love brings us closer to God.
How we can become a murderer of man.
- We direct the spirit of death towards another person through our complaints, murmuring, offences, grumbling, displeasure, and judging.
- When we avoid someone, and we do not want to see them, when we strike them out of our lives, we are killing them in our heart. When we have such an attitude it is quite possible that if something bad happens to that person, then instead of mercy and compassion we will think of it as God’s retribution.
Man is created in order to live by the principles of love. God created our body in a way that it is only healthy when we live in peace, agreement, patience, humility, and respect, when our hearts are filled with love. If God commands us to love, it means that we need to love everyone, even our enemies.
When we love, we are healthy. When we contradict the heavenly law of love, complain, get offended, feel dissatisfied, or murmur, our brain automatically sends the message of hatred to the cells, and glands produce substances, which poison the body. This is how hatred destroys us. By doing that we first kill others in our thoughts, and then this death comes into our own life. In destroying others we destroy ourselves.
Irritation causes ulcers, unforgiveness causes cancer tumours, impatience causes heart diseases and strokes. As we can see, by our selfish, self-serving, consumer attitude to the people surrounding us, we eat ourselves up.
Hatred also destroys those at whom it is directed.
How do you resist this?
• Live in love. It is impossible to cause a person who is filled with love to lose their temper.
• Create your own microclimate, your inner world, where you will not allow even one evil thought, let alone hatred or offence.
• If you do get offended or have complaints against a person, turn to the Creator right away; for He knows how we should behave in order to avoid a “breakage”. Matthew 5:44-48 reads: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”.
The most important commandment and the essence of our entire life is true love: the love that gives. The sense of life is not in self-satisfaction and desire for comfort, not even in marriage, but in giving, self-sacrifice and ministry to others.
There can be no love towards God without love towards people. God will examine how ready we are to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others. In order to learn this sacrificial, true love, we must emulate God, as well as people who live this way.
“When you reach the end of your life, the only thing that will matter is the love that you have given and received. In your journey to the next world the only thing that you can take with you is love. The only valuable thing, which you will leave in this world is love. Nothing else. I have known people who easily endured many difficulties in their lives and were happy, but I am still yet to meet a person, who could endure their life without love. That is why love is the greatest gift in life. It gives sense to life. It is for the sake of love that we should care to live”, Adam J. Jackson.
In order to study this topic more thoroughly I recommend reading of the following books:
“Am I ready to have a husband?”, “Am I ready to have a wife?” by Sunday Adelaja.
I wish for everyone to come to the knowledge of true love! I love you!
The senior pastor of the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations,
P.S. Prayer in solitude:
1) What should I change in myself in order to become more effective, happy, healthy and fruitful?
2) For qualitative and timely accomplishment of all construction and finishing works of the Ukrainian Cultural and Spiritual Center that must be finished before the winter comes.
3) Burn the fire of your heart. Crave for and share the burden God has given to pastor Sunday.
Translated by Valeria Granova
Edited by Cambridge and Oxford Publishing House