Weekly Thought – March 4, 2014
Fred’s memorial service featured a DVD produced six months before his death. He shared wisdom, humor, and inspiration. He spoke of the legacy he wanted to leave for his children: “I don’t want them to need me; I want them to love me.” Fred loved deeply, but he didn’t like to be “ooky-gooky” about it. Yes, that is his expression.
Thank you for praying with the Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute team. God’s presence and power filled the days. The Palm Beach Atlantic University campus was “buzzing” with the conversations, the interactions, and the prayer. The team appreciates the warm hospitality of PBA.
What is Love?
“How do you define love, Fred?” Frankly, I don’t have a concise and precise answer that covers the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements. After all, the Greeks had at least four different words.
Love is so poorly understood. The best definition I have found is: “Love is willing the ultimate good for the other person.” I like the idea of “willing,” rather than “wanting,” “feeling,” or “wishing.” Love is deeply rooted in the will.
If left to feelings, it invariably becomes selfish. Because we are fundamentally self-centered, undisciplined love focuses on ourselves and not the ultimate good of the other. Competition ensues —my ultimate good versus yours. When I hear someone say, “If you loved me, you would…” I know selfishness is ruling.
Two factors are in play using this definition: 1) will and 2) ultimate good. When we use these measures, we maturely respond to emotional situations. By looking for the ultimate good we are able to include discipline, restraint, and even confrontation in our response to others.
Dr. Barbara Brown is doing some fascinating research in biochemistry, determining the effect of will by psychological and physiological experiments. I believe one day scientists will prove the essence of man is his will. Good and evil both march to its beat. Culture calls it the struggle between darkness and light; negative and positive; good and bad. Those who are Christians know the fight is not against flesh and blood, but against heavenly forces.
In loving we are called to bring our will into compliance. Jesus Christ knew the relationship between love and obedience. He said love would be demonstrated by the willful choice to obey His commands. He knew the world would see a distinct difference in His followers because they would will the ultimate good for one another – they would love one another.
Think about this week: 1) What is my definition of love? 2) Who demonstrates love to me? 3) How can I will the best for my family?
Words of Wisdom: “Love is deeply rooted in the will.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I give you a new commandment—to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.” (John 13: 34-35 NET Bible)