[forthright] Love's Pursuit

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 17:35:31 -0300
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: FINAL PHASE

Love's Pursuit
by J. Randal Matheny, editor

   "Love does not pursue its own interests."
                          1 Corinthians 13:5

   "Love does not inquire into the character
   of the recipient but it asks what he
   needs. It does not love him because he is
   such-and-such a person but because he is
   there. In all this it is quite the
   opposite of natural love: it 'does not
   seek its own.' It does not perform the
   characteristic natural impulse of love and
   life. Therefore it is basically
   independent of the conduct of the other
   person; it is not conditional but
   absolute. It wants nothing for itself but
   only for others. Therefore it is also not
   vulnerable. It never 'reacts' but is
   always 'spontaneous,' emerging by its own
   strength - rather, from the power of God.
   Love is the real God-likeness of man for
   which he has been created. In so far as
   love is in man he really resembles God and
   shows himself to be the child of God."
                               --Emil Brunner

So. What do you need?

Let me discover it, perhaps without your asking.

Let me study you, your features and flaws, your
strengths and struggles.

Let me weigh my words to fit your mood, adjust my
acts to your marbled makeup.

Let me hear without judgment, accept without
conditions, offer without strings.

Let me not reflect your ups and downs, but the
constancy of God's mercy.

Let me not love you with the waxing and waning of
my emotions, but with the evenness of God's
purpose.

Let me do, not what you always want from me, but
what will serve you best.

I ask this, not of you, for I will love you with
or without your permission, but of God, from whom
comes the example, the overflowing and the power
to love.

For it is entirely possible that I love in this
way, for I have been loved by God and have learned
from his Son that love is a gift that gladdens the
heart, a grace that strengthens the soul.

From him I can be filled and come to you with
fullness, rather than driven by my searching need.

In his fullness we will not look to each other,
but we will both be satisfied in his presence.

For love is offering from God's plenitude, not
siphoning off as much of the other's extra as we
can.

God is love, and he who has God has love, and love
abundant, to share.

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