"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Google Love (re-post 2.17.2011)

Profound: penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding: a profound thinker. (2) originating in or penetrating to the depths of one's being; profound grief. (3) being or going far beneath what is superficial, external, or obvious: profound insight.

Peace & Love

Earlier this week I wrote a piece on love entitled; "Love: 2 becoming 1". The piece was inspired in part by Valentine's Day and a sermon (CWC - 2.12.11) by our pastor this past Sunday. The piece was also inspired by the question I posed in the previous post and the same question that has been on my mind all week.

What is love?

The Beatles told us that you can't buy it and Tina Turner asked us what does it have to do with anything. And with that, like all great research, I turned to the almighty Google for help. And when I Googled the word love 2,940,000,000 results appeared in 10 seconds.

Wikipedia's definition topped the search list for love. 

Go figure.


Wanting to get a clearer understanding of the word I visited two of my sturdiest and truest friends: Merriam and Webster. Merriam-Webster defines love as "a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person or a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend."
I love the word "profoundly". It is such a descriptive and powerful word.

Perspective & Passionate...

As I continued on my search, and research, for a deeper meaning and for true insight into the concept of love I was reminded that no research can be complete without conferring with the Greeks.

Thank you Wittenberg University. I took a Greek Mythology course my freshman year.

And my parents thought they wasted their hard earned money sending me to college.


Anyway, the Greeks have the love thing down.

As many of you are well aware of there are three types of love that are commonly referred to in ancient Greek. 

They are Agape, Eros & Philia.

Appreciation & Attachment...

Much has been written on each of these 'types" of love, but for the sake of time, and sanity, I want to give a small, very small, overview of what each one means. 

Agape in the King James Version of the New Testament is translated to mean charity which has a contemporary connotation of giving to meet the needs of the less fortunate. When the early Christians refereed to agape love they were speaking to the "self-sacrificing" love God had for all humanity, which they were to reciprocate and practice towards God and among all people. In the end, God's love is unconditional, sacrificial and all encompassing. As 1 John 4:8 states; "God is love".

Eros is the type of love that most of us are very familiar with, and the one that is displayed on the grocery store newsstand, on the TV and the silver screen. Eros is the educated term for the human sexual desires that reside in the depths of all of us; it's a nice way of saying lust. From this Greek term the word erotic is derived and the phrases "love sick" and "love at first sight" are born. Though this type of "love" is, and can be, overwhelming and addictive it has no emotional depth or lasting value. No relationship can stand upon this foundation.

Philia means friendship in Modern Greek. From Philia Philadelphia finds is name and its trademark motto: "The City of Brotherly Love." Philia type of love is about loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. Aristotle divided Philia, or friendship, into three areas, based on the reason why the relationship was formed: friendships of utility, friendships of pleasure and friendships of the good. As we can see Aristotle realized a long time ago that not all friendships are created equal. I would pay to hear Aristotle's commentary on Facebook and the depth of the so called "friendships" on this "social network". The motto for all social networks should be; "You got 20 minutes? I'd like to tell you about myself." Upon further review, maybe that should be the motto for people that like to blog? Anyway, the Facebook thing can be a topic for another day. I will say this, Facebook feeds into the human condition that many people need to be heard on so many different levels. Many, not all, people on Facebook want to submit every aspect of their lives for public consumption. Facebook, as well as twitter, are a narcissist's nirvana. Aristotle would classify the reason why Facebook friendships are formed is because of need; a need to be heard and on some level to have our daily actions affirmed and validated. I currently have 1188 "Facebook friends"... go figure. Any other time I would explain the reasons for my many Facebook contacts, but at this moment neither do I feel compelled to nor do I entertain the desire to share my reasons. I think that is a very high browed way of saying "I'm not really sure why I have so many FB friends."

"Love is saying I have you covered."

Let's reign this piece back in, Facebook is not where I wanted to go this morning.

The reason I was talking about friendship in the first place was because the Greeks spoke of three different types of love, and in my research on love I wanted to gather as much information from as many sources, and resources, as I could.

So with that I would like to extend a special thanks to Google, Webster's, Aristotle, Wikipedia, Facebook, the Beatles and Tina Turner for your thoughts, philosophies and opinions.

They were greatly appreciated.

But as much as the resources mentioned were helpful I was still left with the same question: What is Love?

Profoundly together?

As many of you know that have read any of my thoughts in the past that my research often, scratch that, always begins and ends with God's word. 
Today is no different.

Whether you read the bible or not we all have heard 1 Corinthians 13 recited at many of the weddings we have attended in the past. 1 Corinthians is considered the love chapter in the bible and though I would suggest reading the entire chapter (don't worry, it is only 13 verses long) I want to focus on verses 4 through 7 and point out what I think are the three main ingredients to what love truly is.

"Love is patient and kind."
-1 Cor.13:4

The first trait of true and authentic love is selflessness. It is impossible to be selfish and in love at the same time, it is like swimming in the ocean while trying not to get wet. It is impossible. Out of the three traits that I will share in the following paragraphs this is one I embodied the most in the past. I was a very selfish person. The sad thing is I didn't even realize it. It isn't really a shock that my past relationships failed. I was a selfish person and everyone around me suffered the consequences for my actions. Love is truly selfless; it is putting others ahead and above of one self. I'm not talking about false modesty, entertaining a low self esteem or becoming a martyr, what I'm simply stating is that we need to have a sober assessment of ourselves and realize that our needs do not trump others. Many things fall under the category of selflessness, but simply put, people who routinely and habitually view others more important than themselves are truly selfless.

"Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way."
-1 Cor. 13: 4-5

If selfless is the arm on the body of love then humility is the hand; it is impossible to be selfless without being humble. Humility is the key to all successful relationships. Having the ability to give up our right to be right when a disagreement arises is what mature relationships are built upon. Selflessness and humility go hand in hand. And with that said, there is nothing more attractive than a humble spirit and a humble person.

"Love is not irritable, and keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustices but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never losses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
- 1 Cor. 13: 5-7

True love is unconditional. A lot was said in those verses, but it always comes back to enduring, never giving up and never losing faith. You can do none of those things if your love is conditional. God is the greatest example of this kind of love known to mankind. He gives us his love freely, without judgment and with a full measure of grace and mercy. God's gift of love cost us nothing and cost Him everything. John 3:16-17 states; "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone that believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it."  True love is truly unconditional.

Warm embrace...

So there it is love is selfless, humble and unconditional.

But remember, to display this type of love that embodies all three of theses quantities and characteristics takes time; it takes patience. Its important that we develop patience with ourselves, but it is paramount that we are patient with others. The best way I know how to accomplish this is through prayer and taking the time to become the right person instead spending great amounts of time looking for the right person.

It takes patience. 

In the King James Version of the bible "love" is refereed to 314 times. Out of the 185 times love is mentioned in the New Testament 140+ deal with sacrificial love. 

Jesus Christ is the greatest example of sacrificial love.

Finally, men and women are completely different. I know, shock right!

Innocent & Tender...

Women speak about 30,000 words a day, where as men speak roughly 10,000 words a day (the numbers are debatable, but most research uncovers that women talk 3 times the amount of men). Women are perfectly familiar with every aspect of their children's lives; men know their kids name... most of the time. Women on average have 363 products that they use in their bathroom; a man has about 6.

We men grunt, we are clueless and we stink... go figure.

In the end God created men and women very differently, and how we love and perceive love is going to be challenging at times, but when all is said and done -and usually more is said than done- the love that is displayed the greatest among individuals is the love that is in constant pursuit of selflessness, humility and unconditional parameters and boundaries. 

If we are to imagine for a brief moment that selflessness, humility and unconditional love are passengers in the car of love then sacrifice is the air in the tires and the gas in the tank.

Love cannot operate without sacrifice.


As you finish this piece go to, or call, your spouse or love one and let them know how much you love them. Hug them and look them in the eye, if possible, and say with all the meaning and conviction you can muster; "I Love You". Then quietly begin the journey of living out and displaying sacrificial love in your life on a daily basis. That will be the greatest gift that you will ever give to the people you profess to love. 

What is love you ask? Love is sacrifice.

I know, I Googled it.


sbb  17.2.11

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