Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How Can I Love Better?

"I remember how tenderly Jesus taught us of the covenant of love. Jesus loves us. He taught His apostles, 'As I have loved you, love one another.' It sounds so simple a thing until we consider the quality of His love and surely He would have us learn to love as He loves us.
'This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.' (John 15:12)
How does His love differ from ours or from what we call love?
Sometimes we say or mean, 'I will love you if...' or 'I love you because...'----both qualifiers. Christ shows us how to say, 'I love and will love you in spite of...' That is the quality of Christ's love. The scriptures give it a special name: charity. It is pure and tender. It is eternal, not pretended, totally sincere, without guile or artifice, not selective, no respector of persons. Sometimes what we call love is demanding, dominating, or manipulative. But His is selfless; free of ego needs, facing outward, not inward; reaching always outward. If we love in this way, we avoid much disappointment, pain, despair, and we experience more true joy. Sometimes there are those around us whom we love less. We can learn to love them more. Christ loves everybody more. So can we." (emphasis added)
---Ann Madsen, Professor of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University

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