What does it mean to love?
It means to see a person, a situation, a thing as it really is,
not as you imagine it to be. And to give it the response it deserves.
You can hardly be said to love what you do not even see.
And what prevents us from seeing?
Our conditioning. Our concepts, our categories, our prejudices, our projections,
the labels that we have drawn from our cultures and our past experiences.”
Anthony de Mello
[Jesus said] “… you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’ ‘Teacher,’ the man replied, ‘I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.’ Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him.” Mark 10:17-21a
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Think about it. Why do you think Jesus felt “genuine love for the man?” (v. 21) Was it only because of who Jesus was, or was it also something about the man?
- What keeps you from seeing people “as they really are?” Is it one of the factors de Mello mentions, or something else? Can you name it?
- What do you suppose would change if you made a point to take the trouble to see each person as they really are?
Abba, I know I judge people unfairly and superficially all the time. Help me to see and love others as Jesus did, with understanding and grace.
For More: The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello
The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
One of the most insightful definitions of love I ever encountered was written by M. Scott Peck (1936-2005), a Christian psychiatrist and organizational consultant, in his book The Road Less Traveled. he defined love as ” “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” (1978:85). To extend oneself…to create an environment in which self and the other can truly grow and thrive spiritually…is truly impossible if we are unwilling to remove the various blinders that de Mello mentions.
Thanks, Bill, for excellent food for thought!
Thanks again Donna. This is the kind of conversation that I hope to create with my posts, for the good of all. I hope you keep reading and adding your insight.