Monday, August 3, 2009

What is the Opposite of Love?

Any thoughts on that question? Most would probably say "hate." I'm here to say I disagree. "Hate" is not the opposite of "love" is a by-product of the opposite of "love." I think the opposite of "love" is "self-absorption."

This might be contrary to the world's view of "love." To many, "self-absorption" is a synonym of the word instead of an antonym. Think about it. One might say, "I love ice cream." "I love to party." "I love sex." They "love" all those things because of what they bring to themselves. That type of "love" quickly leads to obesity, addictions, sexually transmitted diseases, depression (when they can't get what they "love"), and anxiety (when they do what they can to try to get what they "love.") Ultimately it could also lead to hate when one sees others with what he "loves," but he does not see them doing anything to help him get it. How futile! What ends up being a journey to get all the gusto for self (because after all, we only live once!), ends up leading to self-destruction.

True love brings freedom from that downward cycle of destruction. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." That's exactly what Jesus Christ did for us. He is our example. "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16) If we truly love others, we will put aside our desires and do what we can to give the other person what pleases them. Then, because we love them, we take pleasure in seeing them fulfilled. If they truly love us, they will do the same for us. Then our "self" ends up getting fulfilled in an unselfish way...with fulfillment and life instead of destruction.

I challenge you today to find ways to forget about yourself and show a random act of kindness for someone else. Think about your actions this week. See if you are acting out of "self-absorption" or unselfish, true love.

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