Love Or Perish
I read a couple of quotes from a book written sometime before 1979 written by Dr. Smiley Blanton entitled: Love Or Perish. I have not been able to find the book on the internet. I have only read the two quotes and I would love to read the entire book. The title alone states an important truth about us.
One quote speaks about humans* universal need for love . . . They cannot survive without love; they must have it or they will perish.
Another quote: There is no more convincing proof that the injunction Love thy neighbor as thyself is the most important norm of living and its violation is the basic cause of unhappiness and mental illness. . . . Whatever complaints a (mental) patient may have, whatever symptoms he may present, are rooted in his inability to love, if we mean by love a capacity for the experience of concern, responsibility, respect and understanding of another person and an intense desire for the person*s growth. Analytic therapy is essentially an attempt to help the patient gain or regain his capacity for love. If this aim is not fulfilled, nothing but surface changes can be accomplished.
One fruit of salvation is love. When God saves us He puts in us an ability to love that was not in us before. It is an ability to love Him and others like we never have before.
Romans 5:5: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
1 John 4:7: Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
1 John 4:19: We love him, because he first loved us.
Our flesh has the ability to prevent the love of God from flowing through us through ignorance and stubbornness. Sometimes we may not even be aware of the love of God flowing through us.
It has been scientifically proven that newborn babies that are deprived of love get sick and sometimes die. Love deprivation of infants has also been proven to contribute to a depraved adult life. When sickly newborns are showered with love they recover and thrive. We never outgrow our need for love. I have a Christian lady friend who volunteers to cuddle babies in a hospital nursery. She is one of the happiest people I know. My wife*s mother had a special touch with babies. She could always get them to stop crying and go to sleep even when their own mothers were unsuccessful in doing that. Comforting babies was one of the greatest sources of happiness in her life. Into her 80s my own mother would go gaga if she could just get her hands on a baby and love it. She was also one of the happiest people I know.
Receiving love and giving love are needs that we all have. That is the way God designed us. Those needs are with us for life.
We must first receive the love of God by receiving Christ into our hearts and giving our lives to Him. Then we must realize that the love of God is not something that we are to hoard for ourselves. The more of it we give out, the more it will be replenished in us. The more of it we give out, the fresher and more enjoyable the supply will be for us. It is better than a transfusion. Not opening ourselves and receiving the love of God is the worst problem. Not loving others is the next worst problem.
There is a kind of love (Agape) that can flow out of Christians that doesn*t exist in unbelievers. If we know what love does and what it looks like we can learn to love better! We can let the love of God flow through us! If we could pick up love in our hands and examine it, see what it looks like it and what it does it would help us.
As you can see this kind of love is impossible for those without God and His help. Keep in mind that in the following passage charity means love.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Proverbs 10:12: Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
Philippians 2:3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
It is difficult to love the unlovely. But God loved us even when we were full of the ugliness of sin. His love beautifies His children.
Romans 5:8: But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
It is difficult to love those who are sinning against us personally. We are more troubled by sins against ourselves than sins against God. But Jesus even loved those that crucified Him.
Luke 23:34: Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
I believe that every prayer Jesus ever uttered was answered therefore I believe that those who crucified Him were forgiven. We ought to pray a prayer like His for those that sin against us. I know from personal experience that enemies of mine have become loving and faithful friends after I prayed for them.