St. John says “Let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (I John 4: 7-8)

In English love stands for three kinds of love. The Greek, the New Testament was written in has three words. Eros is sexual desire. Phileo is family affection or friendship. Agape is self-giving love. The Bible (New Testament uses mainly Agape, self-giving love.

“This is love: not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends since God loved us we ought to love one another.” (I John 4: 10-11)

Are you not sick of the hate being poured out in the political arena? Hate begets violence and vengeance for little or no reason. Love and forgiveness are the only things that brings peace. I saw a very good bumper sticker that said, “God loves you and I am trying.” When Jesus was asked what the Greatest Commandment was, He said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second commandment is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 37-40) There are three you and I are commanded to do, love God, love your neighbor (others) and yourself. I read that a counselor said that depression can be caused by anger turned inward. Things don’t get better if we don’t love and forgive one another. I know it’s not easy to forgive and love others who have hurt you physically or said hurtful things. However, God wants us to forgive and love others, and if they refuse our love and forgiveness then we have done our part and we are free of the obligation.

Dr. Martin Luther King said tolerance was not enough. His ideal was love. “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,” from his book, Strength to Love, page 51. Remember God is love and He seeks a loving relationship with everyone?

––Dr. Leon McIntyre

Maryville

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