Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Action and Motivation

So we've been talking action plans in small know, actually applying all the ideals and concepts and warm fuzzies you walk out of church with. On the way home tonight, I was talking with my cousin about a pretty deep and ongoing frustration in my life and she, not knowing what we've been covering, asked me "...and how are you going to show him love?"

The him in that question is a difficult person in my life. An admittedly vindictive, aggressive, insulting person who, from what I can tell, tries their best not to be happy. I paused. I had nothing real. Don't get me wrong, I know what to do. When they insult, don't retaliate. When they need help, give it without grudge.  When they lash out, remain calm and patient.

"I do all that, but honestly, not out of love."

I do it out of wanting to maintain my perception of self...out of not wanting to feel guilty if this person hurts themselves...out of trying to be part of maintaining a positive environment. None of that though, is love. Ego...guilt...avoidance, yeah, but not love.

We came to the conclusion that while the application is specific, people who show no apparent glimpses of lovability, require the application of agape, which is CRAZY difficult to develop. I've had conflicts with people where...even if we butted heads, I could clearly see where the issue was and where their damaged spots where...where my damaged spots were, took a step back and loved everything else. But easy. it's loving the pretty parts, not the whole person. Whole person love, especially when you can't see redeeming qualities...yeah...


  1. Sometimes I think love is nothing like what we imagine it to be. Which means doing the right thing even when it is repulsive, or out of obligation, or when it requires a giant breath beforehand. What you did is out of love. It was an act of will. Just because you didn't feel it doesn't take away from the act of love.

    THis is a very intriguing, real post. Thanks.

  2. That is such a good point regarding love. Like you said, I think we're misdirected from birth as to what love really is. I think that's one of the reasons Jesus emphasized the bonds between believers as "trumping" familial bonds...not out of rejection of blood relations, but because love that has no earthly obligation, love that doesn't come naturally, is the real, hard stuff.