Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What do you think?

Last night I was watching this study online as apart of the research I'm doing for this bible study I've been working's taking a long time to get this one together! I have to have all my ducks in order when it comes to talking about the Refiners Fire!!! But, I am stumped on something and I need my reader's input on this...yes you all!! PLEASE help a sister out!!

Ok, when it comes to love and not just God's love, do you believe that we choose to love or does something draw us in that we don't know or recognize that makes us love but that it's not a conscious decision?

Here are my arguments to this: 1. For example, as we are born into this world, we do not choose our parents.....and I think I can say that I don't know a parent in this world that does not love their child, they may not like their behavior but that love that they have cannot go away. And I think it would be the same for children and their parents, we didn't choose them, but we love them even though we may not always get along. So there's an example where love just comes......I can't think of a time where I've had to "make" myself love my child.....especially on the days they were born, it just came!! I didn't have to think about, pray about it or try to make it happen, it just did!

Ok, argument 2: When it comes to "other" relationships, love doesn't always come naturally. I can think of several people I have HAD to pray for God to make me love them because their hearts are just so not like mine. I can also think of my relationship with Kris, although I SAY it was "love at first sight", I don't think I had a clue as to what that kind of love was until we went through all we did. But, I still can't help but wonder if even though there are people who I don't really care for but know I have to love them, because that's what Christ commands "love your neighbor", is it still something I choose to do or is there something that draws me into them that I don't know about?

I also think this leads into a little pre-destination (which I hate talking about b/c you can just go in circles with it!) But, did God choose US or do we choose Him? Again, even though we make a "choice" (salvation) to follow it really a choice or is it in our blood just like our "parental" relationships?

Here's a few verses I'm a little stumped on: 1 John 4:7 "Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is what love is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God but if we love on another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

v19 "We love because He first loved us."

I definitely believe that God gives us free will......and I also believe that is apart of the suffering we deal with in this world. If God had us all walking around like robots of course there would not be suffering in this world, but, again, that wouldn't be a "choice" that would be God controlling us like puppets. This all falls in line with "Why does God allow suffering?" and it's because He allows us to choose and with that choice there's a battle of the soul, between good and evil.

So now please, you you believe that we choose to love or does it just "come", is it natural or something we have to work at?


Valarie said...

Girl, pushing us today aren't you? teehee

Ok, I believe we are created with an empty spot in our hearts that we search years and years to fill. We fill it with other people, food, stuff, whatever until we realize that God is the ONLY thing that fills that hole. Now, God made us with that hole. He knows the things we're gonna fill it with. He lets us fill it. (To relate I think about times I've let my kids "learn the hard way" so they'll remember not to do it again instead of stopping them every time - make sense?) Then He says, ok, don't you see that I'm the one to fill that hole. Then, being the gentleman He is, He allows us to INVITE Him in instead of barging right in and taking over. How much would we appreciate Him if He did that? We'd end up resenting Him.

I agree that the whole "predestined" thing is a "mystery" reserved for heaven, but isn't that coolest thing? I LOVE that He keeps secrets that He wants to wait to share with us face to face!!!! That blows my mind!!!

Hope that helps and it's just my opinion. I'm ANXIOUS to see what other's have to say about this. Good stuff girl!!

Neva said...

Perhaps there are kinds of love that we have to choose--like Agape love--other kinds of love like eros are often brought about by circumstances. I have to believe that some love has to be a choice since God commands us to love --I am not sure how a just God could or would command us to do something that is beyond our control. That is just my two cents worth, as I think about it through the day, I may be back with something much more profound. :)


ValleyGirl said...

Hey, no fair making me think like this in the morning!!

I've always believed that love is a choice, no matter what the situation. I agree, in parent-child relationships it seems built-in, but I think even there, it's a choice. You hear daily on the news of families who have chosen not to love each other. Love isn't based on emotion, like our world believes, it's based on a desire to serve one another the way Jesus did. That simply doesn't come naturally.

As for the predestination thing, yeah, that's a touchy one! I don't believe God hand-picks which of us get to go to heaven; I think he wants all of us to end up there, but he gave us the choice of getting there His way or not at all. I kind of think it's silly the way Christians argue this one. The important thing is we've chosen to follow God. Believing He specifically chooses some and not others is to judge His decision-making capabilities by our own limited human standards. We tend to think of that as not being fair then.

I don't know if this is a tangent or not, but I heard a great illustration of God's 'fairness' once. We tend to think of fair in terms of equality, but think of it in terms of baseball. Any ball that lands between the first and third baselines is FAIR.

Leigh Gray said...

hmmmmmmmmmmm, let's see. On one hand I want to say that love is a choice. We are filled with the fruit of the Spirit and one of those attributes is love. We have love in us - His love - and then I guess we have to choose whether it is going to ooze from us or not.

But then on the other hand I want to say it doesn't matter whether we choose to love or not, we are commanded and that trumps all. Because we do have the Fruit of the SPirit in us - no more or no less than any other believer - He commands it to be used because of His example. We are to imitate Christ and in that we bring all "thoughts" (love to knwo the break down of that word) captive to Christ. So even if we don't want to love, we must. Even when they have done us wrong of which none of us have been hung on a Cross after living a perfect life - unfair!! - we must love.

I believe the choice doesn't matter - we must. It will be easier at certain times than others. So techinically we will choose to love or not, but then again techinically there is not choice.........

ok - i am going to bed....

Sharon said...

Wow--I'll answer the easy question first.
Your question about Santa--No we did not do Santa with our children. Keith and I just figured we could not tell our children an untruth.There are so many things that can be good about this time. Traditions-so many special memories to create.
Now about the love thing.I think you have to state of course that for us a Christians love is something we do and not just something we feel. I may not always feel loving-but I respond in a loving way because He first loved me.I believe that we as a creation were created with a longing or a need. I don't even know if you would really say that God planted that need in you. I think it was something that was filled by love and fellowship with God in the garden. When the separation took place--a void was created. It is like a black hole--it can not be filled with anything of the world.
Non Christians are searching and longing for it--a magnet is drawing them. They don't really know what it is --but it is the draw of the Spirit.I think about the fact that all creation is groaning--waiting for things to return to normal.
God's love is a much different love than this worlds love. I don't think we really know what love is till we have been loved by HIM.I think it is the need for that unconditional love that draws us on. Pulling us in. Wooing us.
We are all predestined to be loved by HIM.He loved us while we wee yet sinners.It is that love that fills us--completes us--and in turn allows us to venture out filled with His love to love others unconditionally.
I hope that some of this made sense.This is a subject that I love to talk about. It is something that moves me to the very core.
Satan tries to give us a love that can be taken away. We see it in materialism, reputations, goals and dreams. God offers us a love that makes a broken man whole again. That love will never be taken away.
Everyone wants that love. Everyone.