Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Practicing Love

You have to be firmly grounded in yourself, you have to stand bravely on your own two feet to be able to love at all.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Yesterday I had an amusing thought. Well, not so amusing, but ironic. The only way we will have peace in the world is if we eliminate all the people. Seriously, if it weren't for the gross, rotten behavior of the miscreants in the world we might actually survive. But then we are all guilty of bad behavior to one degree or another. So why don't we just vacate the place and leave it to the birds and bugs?

I have heard so-called pious, devout Christians say they were very religious and hence believed in "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." Moses put that law into effect in order to prevent exactly what goes on these days, the escalating violence of revenge. "If you hurt my goat, I'll kill your cow to 'teach you a lesson,' then if you set fire to my barn to retaliate I'll destroy your house and every one in it" and so on until someone drops the big one and we all perish. Fortunately Jesus set aside that old law and replaced it with one about loving your enemies. It takes courage to do that instead of "getting even," "settling the score," "closure."

The Bible says "God is love." That's an equation with two unknowns, x = y, with neither x nor y concretely defined. Some of those same eye-for-an-eye Christians will say that God sends a hurricane to punish us for our sins and He visits a disease on us to test our faith. Who wants to worship a god like that, a god of disaster and disease? That so-called god is no better than the barn burner.

If God is love then practicing love is the best form of worship, and that means not only loving and forgiving your enemies but loving even the skunks and vipers of the human race. And when disaster strikes to go and help and save and not wait for God to send rain on the fire. "Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie which we ascribe to heaven" Shakespeare wrote.

I can't define love. I stand humbly in the shadow of great philosophers, poets and song writers who have been trying to do that for centuries. But it seems to me that one who truly loves is like a sturdy oak in a tempest, an oasis in a desert, a hug in someone's sorrow and a cheer in their joy.

DB - The Vagabond

(This is not a contest.)

At what event of the past do you wish you could be present? Why?

Only 9 responses so far.

Thank you.


Silver said...

DB.. God is Love, and you are right. It takes greater courage to forgive and love our enemies than to get even.

Keep your faith and spirit strong, my friend.


Anonymous said...

While drowning in my ignorance I find your post to be deep and over my head, so I'll just say that I agree with the beautiful and wise Ms Silver.

Big Mark 243 said...

A hug in someones sorrow... I be dat!!

God is love... maybe. The inconsistencies of scripture and the misinterpretations are similar to the ups and downs of a ride on the big dipper of love.

If I am assailing your faith, my apologies. But the God is love thing... the same God that tells the faithful 'love thy neighbor' is the same one in this country that gives purpose to the hatred of another human being because of race, sexual preferences and their faith.

Can't accept the premise. God IS unknown, and that is the extent to what God is. Not love or hate. We don't know what we don't know.

That corgi :) said...

best definition of love is 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 and if you substitute Jesus for the word love, then it is even a better definition of love

what if God sent a hurricane to get people's attention instead of thinking he sent it for punishment?

I think we need to focus more on love as an action verb than an emotion

I think also if we just simply did what Jesus said to do, the world would be a better place

Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself

That's a tall order,I think, but I also think it is possible, we just need to put ourselves third and stop thinking this world is all about us

I hope you are doing well DB


Liz said...

DB don’t eliminate all the people just every human religion.
More evil has been done in ‘God’s’ name than anything else.
If mankind could look at itself and see the potential it holds without leaning on some mythical supernatural being to save it then we might remove the need to look for a saviour elsewhere.
Then we might see the need to become joined in the only task, which must be to care for our world and grow sufficiently in knowledge to return to the stars from where we came and finally grow in wisdom.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I find the whole retaliation aspect very hypocritical to the teachings.

Beth said...

I want nothing to do with any god that would destroy his creation in a fit of narcissistic pique.