Thursday, February 13, 2014

Triodion Day 5 – Love

Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I thought I would talk about love. When we love someone, we place them above all other people in our circle. We desire to be in their presence more than anyone we know. We place their desires above our desires, because our true desire is for them to be happy. We consider our desires as less important. And most often we feel like we would “just die” if we didn’t get a chance to be in their presence. These are some of the realities of being in love with another person. As our relationship progresses, unfortunately, some of these realities become histories, as our love can fade was we grow tired of “never getting what WE want,” even though we were the ones insisting.

Human love, is fallen love. Go back and read this post from the beginning…

Did you notice the hidden selfishness in our interactions with the people we love? We want the ones we love to have their desire “only” because we desire to please them to be happy. As human beings, our love is constantly burdened with our fallen nature, and never quite pure in its intentions. What seems like love, is really self-love.

Think about it for a moment. When was the last time you expressed your love for someone with absolutely no personal gain. It isn’t impossible, just challenging. That moment when you realize your love has been imperfect, is the moment you have an opportunity for repentance. That moment, is called humility.

Humility is the theme for the first week of the Triodion for a reason. We cannot repent until we first realize we need to repent. Unfortunately, in our contemporary society, humility gets a bad rap. Most people think humility is the equivalent to self-hate, and the opposite of self-love, which is not true. Humility, in the Christian understanding, is having an honest understanding of whom we are. We ARE fallen human beings, who need God’s grace and assistance to become true human beings, living in communion with God. Until we reach that level of self-awareness, just as the publican did in the Parable of the Publican and Pharisee, we will not repent, because we won’t think we need to repent.

Humility and love work as partners. We can only love purely when we realize we have loved impurely in the first place. One flows from the other. Pure love is only possible when humility gives us the eyes to see our fallen nature and selfish intentions. Humility falls on deaf ears unless we love someone enough to leave selfish intentions behind.

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