Eric Bushnell

LOVE : WHAT IS IT ?

One of the most difficult things I have ever had to deal with is : what does love mean ? Is it just a fleeting emotion ? Is it a predetermined destination ? Or could it simply be a choice we arbitrarily make along the way, without rhyme or reason ?????

Is it the same thing to love your spouse, your children,your mom and dad,and your friends?

I think not!

What language can be found that shall describe this matchless unparalleled thing that we call “love”?

It is so vast and boundless how can we define it with mere words?

A poet once said,”O love,thou fathomless abyss!” For this love dilima is unmeasurable.

The Greek language has four different words for this complex emotion :
1) EROS– this love is sexual by nature.
2) STORGE — speaks of familial love.
3) PHILIO– here we have love for a friend.
4) AGAPE– this is often called “higher love”,in that it refers to God’s benevolence, which is an undeserved act of His will towards humanity.

More songs have been written about love than any other topic.

It has inspired some of the best and worst ,poetry. As this website will attest to.

It has set on fire, and broken, countless hearts throughout history. Yet for the final word on it we must turn to the Bible.

In the NT only two words are used to define love: AGAPE (AGAPAO) and PHILEO.

These are wonderfully contrasted in Christ’s restoration of the Apostle Peter– John 21:15-19:

Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love(AGAPAO) me more than these?” Peter response is,” Yes, Lord; You know that I love (PHILEO) you.”A second time Jesus asks him,”Do you love (AGAPAO) me?”Peter once again gives the same answer he gave earlier.Here is the clincher: Jesus said to him a third time “Simon son of Jonah,do you love (PHILEO) me?” This guestion troubled Peter greatly, but why? I think it was because Christ lowered himself to Peter’s level,speaking of something less than a love for God(Deut. 6:4-5).

This lesson can be driven home in our own hearts;because we can’t presume to be a friend of God without sharing AGAPE with him first.

What does this Godly love look like when applied one person to another?

There’s no better answer than the one given to us in 1Cor.13:4-6.

Love sufferes for a long time. In our modern way of thinking everything has a short shelf life, yet with this attitude, people in our lives ,who are hard to get along with ,are cast aside. No one knows this better than an incarated person.

Many of us in prison have lost touch with family and friends.Yet this attitude runs in complete contrast to the love of God. For true love puts up with people who would be easier to give up on.

Finally I would like to make one more point:Godly love is truth! For it endures all things.In love I now accept the hardships of prison. Even though it seems society has rejected me, I move forward in the love of God which compels me.Instead of being discouraged I choose to encourage. For I have decided to walk in the true love of my Lord.

In His love,
1Cor.13:13

Eric Bushnell
DOC #828258

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