Friday, August 31, 2007

How do you know if you're in love?

Do you know for sure if you're in love? Do you keep thinking to yourself, "Is this love or just my imagination?"

To find that out you first need to know WHAT LOVE IS!

The following are the true test of the fruit of (or are seen as a result of) your love?

1). Love is patient:
No matter how wrong things go, love will bear it and still give another chance OR it will wait for the fruit of what it does for as long as it has to.

2). Love is kind:
Another way of being patient. Only if you have patience can you be kind. Rather only if you have LOVE, can you be kind. No matter how much a person hurts or wrongs you, if you talk with kind words, there is love in your heart for that person.

3). Love doesn't envy:
Be content with who you are. If you're determined to love somebody, you can accept a person just as he or she is. So you'll always want good for that person no matter how much better than yourself that person is.

4). Love doesn't boast:
If you have love, you wouldn't think in the heart of your heart that there's a whole big deal in you. Valuing yourself is different, its not the same as over-valuing yourself.

5). Love is not proud:
Follows from boasting. No matter how high your opinion of yourself, you will never let your pride in any form rule your decisions in your life concerning that person or anything that can affect that person

6). Love is not rude:
Somewhat the same as being kind. No matter how much someone hurts through their words or actions you do not hurt them back in ANY way. Give back intelligent answers without being too lame and naive.

7). Love is not selfish:
When you look for the benefit of someone else, the benefit of it comes around to you automatically. I don't mean to say that you get immediate benefits but when you do get the benefit it comes in much, much bigger ways than you expect it to - trust me on this one. Try it out for yourself if you haven't yet and if you have and think you haven't gotten any benefits, you probably just spent so much time thinking about what you lost that you weren't aware of the benefit that came your way and that escaped your attention.

8). Love does not get angry easily:
3 simple rules in this case:
1 - Forgive; 2 - Forgive and 3 - Forgive
It always pays in ways visible or invisible to you. It is very difficult to anger the person who TRULY loves you.

9). Keeps no record of wrongs/Thinks no evil:
Again forgiving. Once you've forgiven, its easy to forget. Poking the person and making them feel guilty about something wrong they've done only draws them away from you. Notice more and more of their good points and you'll realize that the mistakes and faults find it hard to find their way into your memory. Love does not inspire you to hope for the bad of the one you love.

10). Does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth:
If you love someone, you wouldn't involve yourself with that person in doing wrong. You wouldn't want your love to do things which aren't right, would you? If that's what you'd want how can you trust your love to do things that are right in anything involving your own self? Doing the right things the right way gives much more joy than doing the wrong things (whether that is done the right way or the wrong way).
In other words, love finds joy in the person's achievements and less (almost no) joy in finding out the person's failures - that means again don't dwell in what the person has done wrong to you but rather on what he or she has done well for you.

11). bears, believes, hopes and endures ALL things:
No matter what bad or how bad things get, bearing those things, believing your love, giving each other hope and enduring through to the end only builds up and increases the love for your love.

12). Love never fails:
If you have love, it will never fail, it keeps trying continuously without accepting defeat. The person receiving your love will know that you love them, you don' have to necessarily say you love him or her.

In case you haven't realized yet, all of the above were taken from the below reference:
I Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails

No other person gave a perfect example of true love than the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to the world among us and showed each of those attributes mentioned above and more of it. That's what motivates me each day in several ways.

God be with you!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Is ignorance really bliss? How precious is Innocence?

Innocence is precious. As much as possible, it must be kept, but being too innocent can lead to being extremely naive and gullibility( or gullibleness - if that's a word). You can believe easily what people tell you. Now that's something everyone knows right? Everyone's dying to go out into that world during their "boring" teen years to explore the world and see what "exciting" things it has in store for them, right? They're independant - do whatever they wish. But once they're there making the wrong choices, do they realize that little by little they're losing that precious innocence? Those precious little bits of information without which they wouldn't have to bother about so many things.

So many thoughts cross our minds when we deal with people based on our past experiences with others: "What did he mean when he said that? Did she mean it for my good? Or was there another meaning to it? How will I know if they mean it for good?", "When I'm making a decision, how many things do I have to be aware of, before I go ahead and make a decision about it?"

Do I have to know everything? But since I'd have to know how every person thinks in order to make sure that I don't hurt myself in the process of trusting someone I haven't met before, won't knowing EVERYTHING drive me crazy? Imagine if I had to know every bit of information and then make a decision about something major in my life, wouldn't that make me totally lose my mind if taken to a little over the edge?

When I look back I realize that once I've gained knowledge about something and I can't undo it. Will I ever get back that innocence with which I first started making new friends and loved people without thinking of their faults? Is it ignorance or innocence that governed those choices?

I pondered over this for quite some time over a long period of time and this is what i concluded: You don't have to be ignorant in order to remain innocent. You can know everything but it still is your choice to do what is under your control right? Innocence can kill you but as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. So what do we do?

This is where WISDOM comes in. You don't have to know everything. Use what you know to make wise decisions with good in your heart. Don't give in to anything that people say, but make use of the time you have in hand. Haste makes waste! So don't make decisions in a hurry. Think well before committing. You don't have to deceive before you do something either. Innocence of a dove and the sharpness of a fox may be how we can probably put it as my dad always said.

Jesus gave intelligent answers to those who came to test Him and make Him stumble with His own words. His answers made his questioners stumble over their own words.

Wisdom is very less sought after today but it is something that is very much needed to succeed in every step you take in this world, other than strength, dependance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ which is needed much before that. Wisdom does not come of oneself rather it comes from the One who - gives us wisdom, is wise Himself and whom no knowledge escapes!

Please feel free to comment on any opinions you may have on the topic above!

God bless you!