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Author Topic: What Is Love?  (Read 1818 times)

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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #70 on: Sun Oct 13, 2019 - 11:01:36 »
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Rom 14:1 . . Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

A strong faith consists of the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction. A weak faith can be defined as vacillating; viz: one that's not all that sure whether something is wrong for a Christian; or even that something is right; in other words, a weak faith lacks the elements of knowledge, confidence, assurance, and conviction.

Disputable matters are matters of opinion rather than matters of fact. Opinions are often subjective, biased, and arbitrary, rather than objective, unbiased, and by-the book. Opinions inevitably invite perpetual debating that never really gets to the bottom of anything; which, in matters of spiritual significance is strictly forbidden within the context of the 14th chapter of Romans; because debatable matters are not matters of doctrine; but rather; matters of conscience.

We're not talking about black and white doctrines and principles here. Those are not open to debate. We're talking about gray areas.

"Thou shalt not commit adultery" is black and white; while issues like video games, music, fashions, foods, cosmetics, movies, self defense, gambling, swim suits, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, fasting, religious art, crucifixes, couture, and holy days of obligation are debatable. In regards to those areas; let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind rather than somebody else's mind.

Those are things about which each has to decide for themselves according to the dictates of their own conscience; and God forbid they should impose their personal dictates upon others and thus become dictatorial because that's playing God and usurping Christ's sovereign prerogative to make the rules for his own church.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #70 on: Sun Oct 13, 2019 - 11:01:36 »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #71 on: Tue Oct 15, 2019 - 16:35:57 »
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Rom 14:2-4 . . One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.

If somebody sincerely believes that fast food,
GMO, high fructose corn syrup, non organic produce, processed foods, grain-fed beef, raw oysters, sushi, and/or anything fried in lard is sinful; well; more power to them; but God forbid they should condemn others who disagree.

So then; whether or not to eat grass-fed beef or grain-fed beef is your call; although in my judicious estimation; you run a much higher risk of contracting E.coli 0157-H7 by eating grain-fed beef. But the choice to run that risk is yours alone; not mine. The important point to note is that either way, God will accept one's diet just so long as they are convinced in their own mind it's not a sinful diet. And God forbid that we should undertake to pressure someone via debating and sophistry to violate their conscience.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #72 on: Wed Oct 16, 2019 - 22:58:31 »
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Rom 14:5 . . One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Common Christian holy days are The Lord's Day (Sunday), Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God, the Epiphany, Solemnity of Saint Joseph Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Ascension Trinity Sunday, Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Good Friday, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, All Saints, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ (Christmas), and the Sabbath. Some would probably include Easter and Ash Wednesday, et al.

If your denomination, or your church of choice, rules that days like the above are sacred, then for you they are. Whether God himself really and truly rules them as sacred is irrelevant. What matters is whether you are convinced He does because the 14th of Romans' focus is upon matters of conscience rather than matters of fact.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #73 on: Thu Oct 17, 2019 - 11:49:17 »
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Rom 14:13a . .Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

Within the context of the 14th of Romans, "passing judgment" pertains to criticizing others for refusal to accept and/or comply with your own gray-area beliefs and practices.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #74 on: Sun Oct 20, 2019 - 12:41:34 »
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Rom 14:13b . . Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

The Greek word translated "stumbling block" means a stub. For example: one year I cut down a troublesome bush in my front yard and left a bit of a stump sticking up out of the ground that later damaged my lawn mower when I accidentally ran over it while cutting the grass; which had grown tall enough to conceal the stump. In that respect, stumbling blocks are hazards not easily detected.

Within the context of the 14th of Romans, I would equate stumbling blocks to the clever sophistry that silver-tongued orators employ to persuade people to do things contrary to their convictions and their conscience. In other words; there are people out there with the skills to make a lie sound like the God's truth (cf. Eph 4:11-14) and if you get pulled into a debate with those people you'll probably lose.


NOTE: The Star Wars era spawned a pertinent colloquialism that goes like this: "Let the Wookie win one." When it comes to gray-area disputes, that colloquialism is pretty good advice.
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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #74 on: Sun Oct 20, 2019 - 12:41:34 »



Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #75 on: Mon Oct 21, 2019 - 14:23:45 »
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Rom 14:14-16 . . I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of The Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be condemned for doing something you know is alright.

For example: We may believe that there is nothing wrong with eating non-Kosher foods; but our Christian dinner companion might feel very strongly about it. Well; sure, we can get by with eating non-Kosher foods; but Rom 14:14-16 is saying don't. In other words; it is Christ's wishes that we restrain ourselves from eating non-Kosher foods in front of our Christian companions out of respect for their feelings about it.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #76 on: Tue Oct 22, 2019 - 10:58:19 »
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Rom 14:19 . . Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

The Greek word for "edification" is oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which is a word related to the building trades; and in this instance would be related to structural improvements like a new wing, or a bedroom, or another floor; and in many instances adds square footage to an already-existing structure and/or improves its appearance, its value, and it's utility. Edification then, builds up instead of tearing down.

Webster's defines "peace" as a state in which there is no war or fighting; viz: harmony and mutual concord.

2Cor 12:19-20 . . For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.
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« Last Edit: Wed Oct 23, 2019 - 19:47:52 by NyawehNyoh »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #77 on: Wed Oct 23, 2019 - 19:49:00 »
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Rom 14:20-21 . . Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

The critters that God lists in the Jews' covenanted law as unsuitable for food aren't intrinsically unsuitable. They're only unsuitable for the Jews because that's how God wants it for His people. But outside the covenant; and for everybody else: whatever you'd like to eat can be eaten; all flora and all fauna.

Gen 9:3 . . Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

Acts 10:15 . .The voice spoke to him a second time; "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

But still; you wouldn't want to invite someone over for dinner serving foods that they sincerely believe are wrong for them to eat. Prepare something else that you both can eat. That's the Christian way to go about it; it's also the sympathetic way to go about it. There are times when it's appropriate to accommodate people's feelings about certain things. The world has enough bigots as is; don't be one.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #78 on: Thu Oct 24, 2019 - 13:09:12 »
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Rom 14:22a . . So whatever you personally believe in debatable areas, keep between yourself and God.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #79 on: Sat Oct 26, 2019 - 09:48:03 »
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Rom 14:22b-23 . . Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

In other words, it's possible to be wrong even when you're right because it's a sin to forge ahead when one's conscience is not sure it's okay to do so.

I once knew a Christian who felt guilty just setting foot inside a BlockBuster video store. Was he silly for feeling that way? Not in his mind; and it's your own personal moral compass that counts in gray areas. Some Christians can't permit themselves to dine in a restaurant that serves alcohol; while others see nothing wrong with it. If those two kinds of Christians should perchance dine out together, it's the more sensitive conscience that determines where to eat.

In other words; it makes good spiritual sense to avoid insisting upon your freedoms and rights sometimes in order to prevent dragging your fellow Christians into something that makes them feel guilty and/or uncomfortable.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #80 on: Mon Oct 28, 2019 - 10:45:43 »
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Rom 15:1-2 . . We may know that certain things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who believe certain things are wrong.

Webster's defines "considerate" as thoughtful of the rights and feelings of others, i.e. sympathetic regard; which is no doubt near impossible for Christians afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder: a toxic psychological condition characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for excessive admiration, exploitive behavior in relationships, and a lack of empathy.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #81 on: Tue Oct 29, 2019 - 12:39:12 »
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Rom 15:7 . . Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

That's a bit tricky but I think it just means all Christians should acknowledge each other as Christians, and treat one another as Christians though they may differ in opinion about what constitutes a true Christian.

For example: it's not unusual to hear a Christian pontificate that real Christians would never watch R-rated movies, gamble, wear a speedo or a string bikini, use cosmetics, smoke marijuana, expose cleavage or wear skin tight yoga pants in public, stop for a beer on the way home from work, have a glass of wine before bedtime, listen to RAP music, ditch church and Sunday school for years at a time, or go in a bar or a nightclub where there's topless female dancers up on a stage twining themselves around a pole while leering men stuff currency into the hems of their skimpy little costumes.

Too many Christians have the opinion that unless others believe and practice the very same way they believe and practice, then those others are not Christians. Well; the easiest way to settle this is to follow Webster's definition that a Christian is simply someone who professes a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ. That's it: no more, no less, and no qualifiers. They don't even have to practice The Lord's teachings; they only have to profess to believe in them.

An internet forum I was on in the past made it even easier. In order to qualify as a Christian on that forum; one only had to believe they were a Christian; viz: they didn't have to prove they were a Christian; no, they only had to be convinced in their own minds that they were a Christian. If we all followed that rule it would put a stop to a lot of unnecessary quarreling, name calling, and bad feelings.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #82 on: Fri Nov 01, 2019 - 12:28:26 »
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1Cor 8:4-13 . .We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

. . . But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.

. . . Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.

That passage can be said to be a codicil to the 14th chapter of Romans.

Putting this into a modern context is pretty simple; e.g. here in Oregon we have tavern-style restaurants; viz: a section of the tavern is a bar, and another section is dedicated to dining. The bar sections usually host State-sanctioned gambling machines too and typically off-limits to minors.

Suppose you have Christian friends who sincerely feel it's wrong to dine in a tavern-style restaurant because of the alcohol and the gambling. Though you yourself might be comfortable in your own mind that there is no sin in dining at taverns, your friends are not so sure. So if you were to take them to a tavern, they would be committing sin in compromising their conscience; and you would be committing sin by knowingly leading them in a situation that causes them to make that compromise.

  Rom 15:1-2 . .We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in The Lord.

 A pertinent example is Hooters; where the waitresses are cute buxom girls filled out in all the right places clothed in short shorts, and clingy tops; so that the situation is a double whammy of babes and alcohol. Supposing your Christian buddy sincerely feels it's wrong for Christians to dine at Hooters? Then you would be wrong in taking him there for a burger even if you were convinced in your own mind there is nothing wrong with Hooters because you would be leading your Christian buddy into a situation that's below him and causes him to feel guilty and/or less of himself.

The Bible says that Christians should accommodate others to their edification (edification means to build someone up as opposed to tearing them down), Well, when we please ourselves to their detriment; that's being selfish. Some guys feel that cute buxom girls and yummy gams are a God-send, while other guys regard them as the Devil in disguise. The correct route here is to accommodate the more sensitive conscience.

This is one of those situations that requires that each individual to be convinced in their own mind whether Hooters is wrong for themselves or okay for themselves (Rom 14:5) and God forbid that Christians should criticize a fellow Christian who frequents Hooters because this is indeed one of those gray areas; and just who are you to legislate the rules for others in gray areas (Rom 14:3-4). It's unfortunate that there are some very imperious, domineering Christians out and about who see nothing wrong with bullying others to compromise their convictions just so long as they get their own way and everybody conforms to their way of thinking.
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« Last Edit: Sat Nov 02, 2019 - 14:17:45 by NyawehNyoh »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #83 on: Sat Nov 02, 2019 - 17:24:39 »
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1Cor 10:24 . . Nobody should seek only his own good, but also the good of others.

That's not saying it's wrong to seek your own good; just wrong to seek it at the expense of another's good; viz: selfish ambition might be an acceptable modus operandi in professional sports, politics, and big business; but it's totally unacceptable in one's association with fellow believers.

And there's nothing new in that; I mean after all; it's just another way of expressing the so-called golden rule; which states: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Matt 7:12)
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #84 on: Sun Nov 03, 2019 - 10:52:51 »
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1Cor 10:27-29 . . If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you "This has been offered in sacrifice" then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake-- the other man's conscience, I mean, not yours.

If you go ahead and dine in someone's home where you know in advance the food is either dedicated to, or blessed by, a pagan deity, or that when they say grace around the table it will be to a god other than your own, or to a sacred personage that you do not accept; then your host is quite possibly going to come to the conclusion that his religion is just as valid as yours if you don't decline.

This is not saying that Catholics and Protestants can't eat together and/or pray together around the table; nor is it saying that Christians and Jews can't eat together and pray together around the table: not when Catholics, Protestants, and Jews are all praying to the same God: just from a different perspective.

I will say this though: if you are a Catholic host, and your guests are either Protestants or Jews; then for heaven's sake DO NOT pray around the table to Christ's mom and/or to one of Catholicism's many patron saints. That is extremely offensive to Protestants and Jews, and totally unnecessary anyway when you can just as easily say grace to the one supreme being common to you all.
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Offline Jean74

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #85 on: Sun Nov 03, 2019 - 19:40:33 »
The real world only offers temporary love. God is eternal love. Loving us beyond so much despite being sinners. He sent Jesus to die and rise to pave the way for eternity for us.

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #86 on: Mon Nov 04, 2019 - 09:15:53 »
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1Cor 10:32-33 . . Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

The main idea here is courtesy with respect to cultural differences, viz: tolerance; defined by Webster's as sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from, or conflicting with, one's own-- which is just the opposite of bigotry.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #87 on: Tue Nov 05, 2019 - 10:04:34 »
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1Cor 11:33-34 . . My brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

The command doesn't frown upon things like church banquets, men's' breakfasts, ladies' luncheons, and/or potlucks per se. What it's criticizing is a lack of congregational unity. Here's comments leading up to that verse.

1Cor 11:17-22 . . Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you.

. . .Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat The Lord's Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.

Their lack of love and unity during church functions was nothing short of hypocrisy seeing as how The Lord's supper speaks of sacrifice rather than selfishness, elitism, and hoarding. In other words; seeing as how Christians all share in Christ's blood equally-- and deserve hell equally --then everyone should be given equal treatment at church regardless of age, gender, skin color, intelligence, income level, nationality, what side of the tracks they live on, or social status.

None of Christ's body parts are untouchable; nor are any of them expendable. God forbid that there should be some sort of caste system in a gathering of people for whom Christ suffered and died equally for each one. That just wouldn't be right: it would be an insult to the principles underlying The Lord's supper.

Matt 26:27 . . Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying: Drink from it, all of you.

If Christians are all drinking from the same cup, then they should all be, at the very least, eating the same food and not be overly concerned about where they sit and/or who they sit next to and/or who they're seen with. And they should also make double sure that everyone gets enough to eat and that no one gets left out and nobody gets more than his fair share. And they should all sit down together at the same time. I just hate it when people don't wait for each other. Some get back to the table and start in gulping, slurping, clattering, and clanking while others from their table are still in line.

And they should also take into consideration the possibility that a number of their congregation are in assistance programs like TANF and SNAP. In other words; don't just bring enough food from home for yourself; but, if you're able, bring enough for those among you who can't bring anything at all. And for heaven's sake, don't bring a side dish of gourmet food along just for yourself. Leave your special gourmet stuff at home. There's just no excuse for flaunting your "sophistication" around church thus giving everyone the impression that everyone else's tastes are below yours.

You know; why am I even saying these things? In point of fact, why even did Paul? I mean: shouldn't Christians be eo ipso sources of the milk of human kindness without somebody shaming them and lecturing them into being humane with their fellow believers and taking thought for their feelings? Why must so many Christians be practically strong-armed into being courteous with one another?
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #88 on: Wed Nov 06, 2019 - 10:32:32 »
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1Cor 16:20 . . Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Kissing was a common form of greeting in the old world; and still is in the Middle East and certain parts of Europe; but here in America-- a super-sized racial/cultural/ethnic amalgam of customs from all over the globe --it's wise to dispense your kisses with discretion. Some of us don't even like to be hugged, let alone bussed; and if you should perchance try to make physical contact with an autistic Christian, you're liable to cause them a panic attack; so go easy on the touchy-feely stuff.

The people to whom Paul referred as "one another" are one's fellow born-again Christians. We're not required to be cozy with unbelievers. You can be courteous to them, yes (cf. Matt 5:47) but reserve especially warm greetings for your siblings; viz: those who've undergone a second birth as per John 1:12-13 and John 3:3-8, and thus share your adoption into God's home as per Rom 8:15-17.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #89 on: Thu Nov 07, 2019 - 10:24:06 »
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1Cor 16:22 . . If anyone love not The Lord, let him be accursed.

One's love of The Lord is exemplified by loyalty.

John 14:15 . . If you love me, you will comply with what I command.

John 14:21 . .Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.

John 14:23-24 . . If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.

Does a Muslim have to be a terrorist to be accursed? No; they only have to be a loyal follower of Muhammad ibn `Abdullāh instead of a loyal follower of Jesus Christ; same goes for Atheists, Nonreligious, Baha'i, Buddhists, Chinese Universalists, Confucianists, Jains, Kabbalah mystics, Shintoists, Spiritists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Jews, Sikhs, and Hindus-- they're all accursed and there is nothing to be gained in arguing about it.

How many people am I talking about? Well, as of mid 2014, worldwide there were:

550,000 Scientologists
1,500,000 Mormons
8,200,000 Jehovah's Witnesses
7,794,000 Baha'i
515,951,000 Buddhists
451,292,000 Chinese Folk Religionists
8,424,000 Confucianists
974,597,000 Hindus
5,567,000 Jains
14,142,000 Jews
1,673,590 Muslims
2,819,000 Shintoists
24,918,000 Sikhs
14,183,000 Spiritists
8,660,000 Taoists
196,000 Zoroastrians
828,594,000 Nonreligious
692,111,000 Agnostics
136,483,000 Atheists.

The grand total of just those categories alone is 5,369,071,000

If those figures are in the ball park, and if classical Christianity is the reality; then a minimum of at least 75% of the earth's 2014 population of 7.2 billion people didn't love The Lord.


NOTE: Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are Christians, yes, but not in the classical sense.

Joseph Smith's movement is a spin-off; in other words: there's some classical Christianity in Mormonism, but comprises only a portion of Mormonism. The rest of it is extreme, to say the least.

Neither do Jehovah's Witnesses qualify as Christians in the classical sense. Charles Taze Russell's movement is a spin-off too. There's some classical Christianity in the Watchtower Society's doctrines, but comprises only a portion of Russell's doctrines; and his slant on it is very peculiar.


BTW: An informative book that I personally consider an essential volume in every Christian's library is called: "Kingdom Of The Cults" by Walter Martin.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #90 on: Fri Nov 08, 2019 - 12:23:48 »
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2Cor 2:5-10 . . The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

The cause for which Paul wrote that section was a guy in the Corinthian church sleeping with his stepmother (1Cor 5:1). Paul had commanded the congregation to not only hold the man's feet to the fire, but also to ostracize him.

Some time had passed since then, and the man was apparently regretting his actions, and broken off the illicit relationship with his kin, so it was time to let him back into the group. No doubt the humiliation of it all had a tremendous impact upon his attitude— probably upon the congregation's too because at first their attitude wasn't all that good about it either. (cf. 1Cor 5:2)

Here in America scolding and ostracizing a church member would probably just make them indignant rather than repentant. (cf. Ps 51:17)
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #91 on: Sat Nov 09, 2019 - 19:58:00 »
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2Cor 2:9-11 . . If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive --I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

One of the opposition's tactics is to create disunity in a church. Sure enough when that happens-- as when one portion of the congregation believes in judging and ostracizing while the other doesn't --people start taking sides and the church will end up divided into cliques and factions. According to the lord and master of New Testament Christianity, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Paul mentioned that his extension of forgiveness was "in the sight of Christ". There exists some controversy as to the exact meaning but I think it's just saying that Paul's forgiveness of that man was done in accordance with Christ's approval; to the end that the Corinthians all go along with it, i.e. stand together as one.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #92 on: Mon Nov 11, 2019 - 09:49:08 »
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Gal 5:26 . . Let us not be conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Webster's defines "conceit" as: excessive self-appreciation of one's own worth or virtue.

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with having strong core values and/or believing in yourself, but if you should find yourself somewhat indignant and/or resentful when others don't believe in you, or when they think very little of your core values; then watch out because that's a symptom of conceit, and it will hinder you from obeying The Lord's orders in regard to getting along with fellow believers.

The Greek word for "envy" is phthoneo (fthon-eh'-o) which means: hostile toward a rival, or towards someone believed to enjoy an advantage. In other words; we're talking about a competitive spirit-- not the good-natured, friendly kind but a malicious kind of competitive spirit that resents others doing better than itself, or more popular than itself, or more recognized than itself, or more admired than itself; viz; it's all about self.

Rivalry is a very destructive passion. It got Abel slain by his own brother, and it got Christ slain by his own people. Rivalry makes otherwise sensible people behave contrary to their own better judgment, and gets them embroiled in oftentimes unnecessary vendettas; e.g. gender rivalry and racial rivalry. Now those two there are very destructive social influences.

If none of the above describes you; consider yourself fortunate.

The Greek word for "provoke" is prokaleomai (prok-al-eh'-om-ahee) which means to challenge; viz: to get in somebody's face in an obnoxious, assertive, militant manner; which is a kind of behavior that prevents people from deserving identification with God's kin.

Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peaceable: for they shall be called the children of God.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #93 on: Tue Nov 12, 2019 - 10:58:25 »
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Gal 6:1a . . Brethren, even if someone is caught in the very act of any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;

The Greek word for "trespass" is interesting. It can refer to willful misconduct and/or to unintentional misconduct. Seeing as how willful misconduct is dealt with harshly and summarily as per 1Cor 5:1-13 while in this situation gently, then I'd say Gal 6:1 is referring to unintentional misconduct; which doesn't merit a public flogging; but rather a quiet talk; and the more private the better in order to avoid embarrassing the unintentional offender.

Restoration does not apply to visitors; only to members on a church's roles; i.e. the congregation. The visitors' business is none of our business so don't go sticking your nose in it.

The Greek word for "restore" basically means to repair or adjust, viz: restoration applies to maladjusted Christians, i.e. the ones whose misconduct is habitual, and quite possibly detrimental to a church's overall health.

A spirit of gentleness precludes the use of bullying, intimidation, rage. yelling, demeaning comments, lecturing, scolding, biting sarcasm, ugly remarks, carping criticism, brow beating, and such. Those kinds of behaviors aren't gentle, no, they're cruel and abusive. They're also unwarranted when the accused has committed an unintentional trespass.


NOTE: The instructions given in Gal 6:1 pertain only to spiritual Christians; garden variety, rank and file pew warmers-- viz: marginal Christians --need not concern themselves with it.

In churches where people are conceited, assertive, confrontational, embroiled in petty rivalries, debating, quarrelling, and maybe even jostling for notoriety; the spiritual ones are obviously going to be as scarce as California Condors.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #94 on: Thu Nov 14, 2019 - 18:10:39 »
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Gal 6:10 . . While we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Good can take any number of forms but I think a useful description we could apply here is "beneficial".

Jesus did good (Acts 10:30) i.e. he was very definitely beneficial; not just on the cross or by his teachings, but in non spiritual ways too.

Those who are of the "household of the faith" are actually kin; viz: siblings; and like they say: charity begins at home.

Some churches have what they call a deacon's fund; to assist members who are down and out and/or in dire straits.

And don't overlook your church's senior citizens. Some may be getting up in years and finding it difficult to even maintain their own homes and yards anymore. Chores may not seem all that spiritual; but pitch in anyway if for no other reason than your assistance is beneficial.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #95 on: Sat Nov 16, 2019 - 11:59:27 »
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Eph 4:2 . . Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, putting up with another in love.


NOTE: That's an interesting command because no doubt it's not asking us to do something that Christ doesn't do every day: endure his sheep's stupidity, their lack of civility, and their natural preference for impiety.

Humility is one of those virtues that people love to talk about; but rarely ever seem to exemplify.

The  Greek word is a tongue twister. It's tapeinophrosune (tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay) which means humiliation of mind, viz: modesty; defined by Webster's as free from conceit and/or vanity.

Conceit is defined as excessive appreciation of one's own worth or virtue; viz: a too-high opinion of one's self; i.e. a master-race mentality.

Vanity is defined as inflated pride in oneself or in one's appearance; viz: narcissism and/or self adoration.

Cosmetics and figure-shaping undergarments don't really qualify as the kind of vanity that Paul is talking about; which is a kind of vanity that goes way beyond just trying to look your best.

Sinful vanity is an ugly creature. It's self aggrandizing. Vanity isn't gentle either, on the contrary, vanity can be quite cruel, thoughtless, competitive, given to rivalry, indifferent, and insensitive; and vanity abhors associating with people whose station in life is decidedly below its own; and God forbid someone below themselves should have the nerve to correct either their conduct or their knowledge.

Patience is a jewel. It's defined as the power, or capacity, to endure without complaint something difficult or disagreeable. Patient people seem to have a predilection for retaining their composure while under stress. These make the best leaders because they don't get flustered when everything around them is disintegrating into chaos.

Patience is very useful when it comes to "putting up" with certain kinds of chafing Christians who seem to have a knack for getting on people's nerves.

 During my forty years working as a professional welder, I encountered numerous fellow employees whose skills and performance were excellent; but nobody could work with them. They were just too difficult.

Heaven forbid that Christ's followers should ever be "difficult". It is rather to be desired that they be civil, courteous, thoughtful, sociable, agreeable, helpful, approachable, accommodating, affable, rational, reasonable, temperate, and self-controlled. Christians around whom everybody has to walk on egg shells all the time, are in sore need of a personality make-over if they're to ever have any realistic expectation of associating with God as His kin.

Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #96 on: Sun Nov 17, 2019 - 09:19:42 »
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Eph 4:3 . . Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

Peace is what everybody wants but seem thoroughly unable to attain-- either by force or by diplomacy --even in Christian churches where you'd think that at least there you'd find peace seeing as how it's related to one of Christ's beatitudes (Matt 5:9). It's also a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22)
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #97 on: Tue Nov 19, 2019 - 10:07:46 »
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Eph 4:25 . .Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

One's neighbor is not the same as one's brother; i.e. neighbors are not kin.

The command is directed at "each" of you-- i.e. individuals --because just one Christian's dishonesty reflects upon the integrity of all Christians; whether innocent or not makes no difference; that's the way propaganda machinery works and we just have to live with it.
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« Last Edit: Tue Nov 19, 2019 - 12:03:22 by NyawehNyoh »

Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #98 on: Wed Nov 20, 2019 - 12:12:24 »
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Eph 4:26a . . In your anger do not sin.

Anger isn't eo ipso evil. It's how one handles their anger that matters. Anger can be a very useful tool when it's applied by somebody who knows what they're doing. For example:

Mark 3:5 . . And when Jesus had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man: Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Everybody gets angry from time to time; just don't let it drive you to doing something contrary to your better judgment, e.g. violence, profanity, malice, cruelty, uncivil behavior, emotional outbursts, hysteria, etc.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #99 on: Thu Nov 21, 2019 - 19:47:09 »
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Eph 4:26b-27 . . Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil a foothold.

Some people treat their anger like a prized possession: they don't want to lose it. They actually prefer to stay angry rather than "get over it". Apparently the Devil is quick to take advantage of Christians like that, i.e. they become what's called in the spy business; an asset.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #100 on: Fri Nov 22, 2019 - 09:05:52 »
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Eph 4:29 . . Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

"helpful" is from the Greek word oikodome (oy-kod-om-ay') which means: to build up (as opposed to tearing down).

 "foul or abusive" is from the word sapros (sap-ros') which means: rotten, i.e. worthless (literally or morally) viz: inappropriate.

The foul and abusive category no doubt includes not only profanity, but also biting sarcasm, cruel remarks, thoughtless comments, chafing, relentless fault-finding, sneering, ridicule, mean spirited rejoinders, mockery, and unnecessary criticism.

Language that's good, helpful, and encouraging is essential if one is to be serious about exemplifying the fifth beatitude.

Matt 5:7 . . Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Speaking of humanity as a corporate body, the Bible says:

Rom 3:13a . .Their throat is an open sepulcher

It's not advisable to open a sepulcher seeing as how the contents are no doubt going to be quite odious and in a state of decay; especially in locales where the remains weren't cremated or treated with formaldehyde.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #101 on: Sat Nov 23, 2019 - 10:52:29 »
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Eph 4:31 . . Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior.

It wasn't The Lord's wish that Ephesian Christians avoid all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice; no; on the contrary, he wanted the Ephesians to "get rid" of them.

"bitterness" is from the Greek word pikria (pik-ree'-ah) which means: acrid, poisonous, and/or toxic (literally or figuratively)

Christians like that are nothing in the world but deadly reptiles.

"the poison of asps is under their lips" (Rom 3:13b)

"rage" is from thumos (thoo-mos') which means: passion (as if breathing hard). Passion is just the opposite of reason; and as everyone knows, emotions are incoherent; so it's to be expected an emotional person is not acting rationally. This is a kind of conduct that Paul says brings sorrow to God's Spirit.

"anger" is from orge (or-gay') which means: desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), i.e. (by analogy,) violent passion, ire, (by implication: punishment)

People overcome by orge typically want some satisfaction; even to the point of at least your ruin; if not your death.

"harsh words" is from krauge (krow-gay') which means: outcry.

Out-crying is what protestors do; in other words: assertive, in-your-face confrontational complaints and/or demands.

"slander" is from blasphemia (blas-fay-me'-ah) which means: to vilify. Webster's defines "vilify" as: (1) to lower in estimation or importance, and (2) to utter slanderous and abusive statements against; viz: defame, discredit, and/or denigrate.

A statement need not be false in order to qualify as slander; it need only to be unnecessary; viz: you'll often hear people say: Well, I was only telling the truth. Were they? No, that's a ruse. In reality, they're insensitive; and they don't care who gets hurt by their thoughtless remarks.

The Lord notices the words people say, and he also takes note of the spirit in which they say them.

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken." (Matt 12:36)

"malicious behavior" is from kakia (kak-ee'-ah) which means: badness, i.e. (subjectively) depravity, or (actively) malignity, or (passively) trouble:

Malice usually includes the element of "spite" which Webster's defines as: petty ill will, or hatred, with the disposition to irritate, annoy, or thwart. Compare that to the koiné word for "persecute" in the eighth Beatitude which means, literally: to pursue; viz: to stalk, to hound, to harass.

Webster's defines "thwart" as: (1) to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle; viz: contravene, and (2) to oppose successfully; viz: to defeat the hopes or aspirations of; in other words: to deliberately get in someone's way; block, discourage.

Boy I'll tell you, that Ephesian church was as rough-hewn and crude as the old logging community of Stump Town (now Portland) out here in the Oregon of the 1800's. They cussed, they brawled, they bad-mouthed, they held grudges, they were thieves, they were arrogant, they somehow had the idea that Jews were below them, they were immodest, conceited, vain, and impatient, they walked unworthy of their calling, and they were splintered into cliques.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #102 on: Mon Nov 25, 2019 - 11:30:45 »
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Eph 4:32 . . Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Within the context of the letter Paul wrote and sent to the Christians residing in the ancient city of Ephesus; the objects "one another" and "each other" are exclusive; viz: the comments refer only to one's fellow Bible-believing Christians rather than the world at large. So if you're unwilling to be kind and compassionate to outsiders; at least be so with people at church so as to help prevent church from becoming a hostile worship environment.

The Greek word for "kind" is chrestos (khrase-tos') which means: employed; viz: useful.

Chrestos is found in only seven places in the New Testament, and without exception implies being beneficial to others for their own good rather than using people to benefit your own self.

The word for "compassionate" is eusplagchnos (yoo'-splangkh-nos) which means: sympathetic.

Webster's defines sympathy as: 1) an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other, 2) inclination to think or feel alike: emotional or intellectual accord, 3) feeling of loyalty: tendency to favor or support, 4) the act, or capacity, of entering into or sharing the feelings or interests of another, 5) sensitivity, and 6) heart; as in "have a heart".

Eusplagchnos would make a good substitute for a word found in one of The Lord's beatitudes. 

Matt 5:7 . . Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

"merciful" is from the word eleemon (el-eh-ay'-mone) which means pretty much the same thing as eusplagchnos: compassionate and sympathetic.

It used to be that Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts were trained to be useful to others as just simply a matter of good deeds and good citizenship. I don't know, maybe they still are; but I've known lots of churchians who were totally useless to others because they're infected with an ugly spirit of conceit, rivalry, and indifference. Far from being kind and compassionate; those Christians are actually sociopathic and don't even know it.

The word "forgiving" is charizomai (khar-id'-zom-ahee) which essentially means: to grant as a favor; viz: gratuitously, i.e. courtesy.

Webster's defines gratuitous as: 1) given unearned or without recompense, 2) not involving a return benefit or compensation or consideration, 3) costing nothing: free, 4) not called for by the circumstances: unwarranted, 5) complimentary, 6) gratis, and 7) voluntary. In other words; charizomai seeks no reciprocation; it never says "you owe me one"

Sailors are oft heard to say that the sea is very unforgiving: meaning it allows no room for error or weakness. Christians ought not be like the sea. We ought to be the most forgiving people on the planet; and not because we expect others to reciprocate; but just because we enjoy being gratuitous. For some Christians though, courtesy is an effort.

Eph 4:31-32 isn't easy. What we're looking at there is not just good citizenship; no, what we're looking at is something divine in both its nature and its behavior.

Phil 2:1-2 . . If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

The word for "bowels" is splagchnon (splangkh'-non) which means: an intestine. Your gut is the very place where you "feel" pity and/or sympathy for others-- that is; if you're capable of those kinds of feelings; not everyone is.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #103 on: Tue Nov 26, 2019 - 12:41:35 »
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Rom 12:7a . . If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well.

 "serving well" implies serving conscientiously and whole-heartedly rather than half-baked, grudging, and/or hit and miss.

One of my brothers has been a construction foreman for decades and one of his perpetual complaints is that he never knows from one day to the next whether some of the men he hires on jobs will show up. In other words: they aren't reliable, he can't count on them.

What I'm saying is: if you're thinking about becoming helpful in some way, don't do it unless you're willing to commit to the long haul because people need to know that they can depend on you to stay the course.
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Offline NyawehNyoh

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Re: What Is Love?
« Reply #104 on: Wed Nov 27, 2019 - 11:36:44 »
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Rom 12:8a . . If your gift is to encourage others, then do so.

You know who really benefits from encouragement in a big way? Little kids. Thoughtless grown-ups can break a growing child's fragile spirit by criticizing them all the time and never once giving them an "attaboy" or a single vote of confidence.

A fitting word spoken at just the right moment can really beef up somebody's resolve to meet life head on. If you're good at that sort of thing, then watch for opportunities among your fellow Christians to do so. It has to be honest though because flattery is all the same as treachery.

Prov 29:5 . .Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.
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