Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 5: Love, According to Me

Oh, wow, Day 5 is a heavy one: my definition of love. Please excuse me if I sound crazy today, I'm feeling pretty sick and kind of wish I was in bed right now.

Love is a complex subject. I think when you are young it is easy to equate love with pleasure ~ If someone does something I like, they must love me. If I feel good when I am around someone or something, I must love it. I definitely think pleasure is a part of love, but I don't think it is the definition of love.

If I could define love in one word it would be "unselfishness"; other than that I think 1 Corinthians 13 gives an accurate definition of love. The dictionary says that love is a feeling of deep affection, which is true, but it depends on what you do with that feeling of deep affection - if you turn it into something selfish, it can become toxic, if you let it be a tool for enjoying others and putting their well-being before your own, it can be life-giving. Plus, Jesus told us to love everyone, not just people we feel "deep affection" for.

Maybe it would be helpful if the English language had more words to convey love than just "love"; we say "I love you" to our spouses and "I love coffee" - I don't think it's the same kind of love...or at least I hope it's not. I took a year of biblical Greek when I was in college and in Greek there are three different kind of "love": phileo~brotherly, eros~sexual, and agape~God's love. That would help a lot. Then I could say:

I phileo-love my coworkers.
Jesus agape-loves me
I eros-love...well, that's not really any of your business :)

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