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Saturday, November 12, 2016

CXII. The opposite of Love is not Hate

Word association tests are used by many therapists to see how people feel or what their personalities are like to get answers to some issues they may be dealing with.  Usually people say the opposite of what the word is given to them.  Some other answers are of course acceptable because many can still see the association.  And then there are those weirdos who are not connected with reality and have some kind of strange response that makes the therapists think twice about them.  Such as:

Polar Bear

So, if someone did the test with you and gave you the word love, the normal response would be hate. An understandable response would be emotion. An abnormal response could be anything from Aardvark to Zyklon B.  But none of these answers actually tell us what the real opposite or even the real meaning of what love is.

The real opposite of love is not hate.  The real opposite of love is apathy.  Love is not just an emotion so it can't be hate.  Love is not just a feeling, so it can't be associated with food or items we say we "love".  Love defined in the Bible is found in 1 Corinthians 13.
  • Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.
Although love is a noun in the essence of our existence, love is a verb when it comes to human interaction.  Love needs to be shown.  It requires action.  The only way to show love is through what you do.  So if that is true then the only way to not show love or to show the opposite of it is to not do anything---apathy.  Parents who neglect their children do not love their children.  Teachers who do not take time out to teach students do not love the ones they ignore.  Spouses who do not SHOW any love to their partner do not love their partner.

Here is the problem with the world.  Some think love is an emotion.  The problem with this is that emotions change with situations.  And when the situation is over they feel they have lost love and they replace it with another emotion.  Or they search for more emotional love and start the cycle all over again.  They will never be satisfied.  The world thinks love means having sex.  They go from partner to partner looking for something that can never be there.  They think love and marriage are interchangeable when they're not.  Younger people think it has to be part of relationship.  They give themselves away only to be hurt when they realize there is more to this world or that their partner no longer wants them in that way.  Guilt and loneliness sets in causing eventually feelings of self judgement and low self esteem.  The world thinks love is conditional.  No.  Love NEVER fails.  It will always be there.  It is there in times of trouble, pain, and disparity.  They try to change things about themselves to fit in.  They go through fads.  They try and "find themselves" because they can't understand that pure love is unconditional and forever but they can't slow down enough to see it, going from situation to situation.  The world thinks love is about tolerance.  No.  Tolerance means you do nothing about something.  And the opposite of love is to not do anything--apathy.  Many think tolerance and acceptance are the same thing but they're not.  You can accept someone for who they are, hence you are patient with who they are.  You are kind to them.  You do not dishonor them for who they are.  But tolerance on the other hand means you give into their actions.  That is apathy.

This is why many people get mad at Christians because we are not tolerant of certain actions, thinking we're not showing love.  No.  We have love and we should should it but intolerance is not hate.  It is just the idea that we do not have to abide by certain standards others want us to live by.  It's the same thing on the non-religious side, only they expect us to have to live by what they say.  They then preach that we are bigots for not tolerating what they do.  But Christians have the biggest hate because we are told to love and yet we neglect those who are hurting.  We see the "wrong doings" in their lives but we forget to see the person.  Christians do not show enough love.  We have the greatest example:

John 15:13
  • Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Love is the only thing that will break down barriers.  Laws of man can not do it.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

CXI. We live in a Football Mentality World

Watching ESPN from September through December and you see all kinds of news about football.  Even though the World Series happens in this time period and basketball starts in that time period, ESPN fills in air time with football stats.  Watching ESPN from January through April and you see all kinds of news about football.  The Super Bowl happens and the Pro Bowl happens.  Then commentators have to analyze the season with all the mistakes and plays and players issues.  The only thing that brings a lull into the situation is the three week intervention of March Madness. Again within that time period babseball season starts and hockey season and basketball season starts to heat up but we are still hearing all the latest football news.  Watching ESPN from May through August and guess what?  We're still watching all kinds of news about football.  After all, trades, signings, and mid-summer workouts HAVE to be mentioned, not to mention the all important 4 week pre-season events.  Again basketball playoffs, hockey playoffs, the All-Star summer classic happens in the same time period but once again the air waves are filled with football news.  Not to mention the other football game called soccer (but let's just talk about real sports).  It gets even worse when the Olympics are thrown in.  Oddly enough, out of the sports mentioned football is not one of the games held at the Olympics.  But they tend to use football announcers to help cover the sports being televised.  And it isn't more than 10 minutes that one of them will compare the game or match being shown to some football moment. 
Anyway, this is not a shot towards the game of football.  It is enjoyable, especially when The Ohio State Buckeyes rip into the team up north each year.  But this is a shot towards the mentality of what we have become as a nation and a people.  People love it; you could say obsessed with it.  The Super Bowl actually has the day named after it; Super Bowl Sunday.  We start the day at 8:00 AM with preshows and analysis of each team and how they got there and stories of their families and we uplift them to hero and demigogue status.  We are glued to the TV to see the commercials and the half-time show.  We throw parties and try to impress every one we know with what we serve.  Why are we so obsessed with the game?
It's because our society doesn't know how to stop and look at things.  We have forgotten how to take time out and appreciate things around us.  We are filled with hype all the time.  We want action.  We feel we have to be involved and connected at all times with everything around us.   In football every play involves each and every player, both offense and defense at the same time.  With each play there could be something that causes the crowd to change their demeanor and each play could be the play that creates the outcome.  And if this isn't enough stimulation at least there are cheerleaders in skimpy clothing and lots and lots of beer to consume.  So it is with our lives.  Why do feel the need to always be in the middle, or need to be part of the action?  No one is satsified with waiting for an outcome.
The problem is when we live our lives like that we tend to miss the things on the side.  We miss out on the little things that help make our life special.  We want immediate action.  We then tend to react to situations instead of thinking about the issue and working through them.  If it isn't immediate satisfying then we don't want to be a part of it.  And if we react right away it means we are responding to our feelings only.  And unfortunatelty, Christians have fallen into this mindset as well.  We are way too much part of the culture instead of driving the culture.  We fall into the traps of this world and get caught in the same problems.  We over react.  We act on impulse like animals.  We feel rage in the moment.  We lose the sight of the love that we are suppose to show.  And then we wonder why so much hate is in the world.
Metaphorically speaking we need more baseball thinking in life.  We need to be able to wait patiently "pitch by pitch" and to be able to assess our lives even in those down times.  Baseball is the only team sport that is not timed.  Football, basketball, and soccer all have their time run out on them.  Baseball is based soley on the opportunities to achieve its goals.  Imagine what life could be if we all just took the time to see the whole picture and not just rush to get things in before our time runs out.
How about a nice game of chess?

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