What Manner of Love is This?

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There was once a man who had two sons whom he loved with all his heart. One day, the younger, William, said to his father:

‘Father, I want my inheritance right now.  I cannot wait until you grow old and die’

So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son, satisfied that his wish had been granted, packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had.

After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. There were times he was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

That brought him to his senses.

Will said to himself, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’

So he got right up and went home to his father.

When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.

Will then began his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again…’

But his father wasn’t listening.

He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’

And they began to have a wonderful time.

All this time his older son, Dan, was out in the field. When the day’s work was done, he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing.

Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’

When he heard this, Dan stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen.

Angrily he said to his father, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’

His father then replied, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’

Story Source: Luke 15:11–32

Pointers We Can Get from The Prodigal Son

Will had squandered his inheritance and was back again seeking to rejoin the household he couldn’t wait to leave. Notice the two major reactions to the news of his return

“Dan stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in.” 

“His father ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.”

Like I said in this post on reactions, there are many possible ways to react to any happening – be it a win, loss or the return of a son in whom you are disappointed. But there is one way that is ALWAYS present – the path of love.

I have this theory that no matter the circumstance, choosing to express love (Agape) is always the best choice. Here are two major reasons why:

  • Love is liberating

Will’s father could have thrown him off his property in anger. He could have poured out all the pent up emotions he might have had – rage, disappointment, sorrow, etc. But he didn’t because he understood that hate, anger or whatever negative emotion one might feel is a heavy weight to carry and it’s best to let them go.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Love works hand-in-hand with forgiveness

If he had decided to not welcome Will in love, he would have had to live with the weight of disappointment, pain, and regret for a majority of his life. And William, in turn, would not be able to forgive himself for causing his father so much pain.

There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love.

Bryant H. McGill

Forgiveness is the best form of love. It takes a strong person to say “I’m sorry” and an even stronger person to forgive.

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kemi Sogunle, a multi-award-winning author, explains more on this in her book “Beyond the Pain – A Return to Love”. She said:

“without forgiveness and love, you will live with resentment, bitterness, malice, and strife which result in more pain. You can never love without forgiving. Forgiveness deepens your ability to love and frees you from pain.”

The Power to Love – The Greatest Superpower We Have Been Given

We have all been given the power to love. This is one of the greatest gifts we have been given. Because it’s a massive many in one package. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 describes the parts of this superpower:

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

With all this, it is evident that love creates a positive change in lives – demonstrators, receivers, and spectators alike.

superhero is one who’s hidden from the eyes of the world, yet works to protect the world from the bad and helps to make it a better place for others.

Sadaf Siddiqi, Hero vs. Superhero

They say little drops of water make a mighty ocean… in the same way, little acts of love contribute to making the world a better place for everyone. Be a superhero. Choose the path of love.

Shout out to my fellow collaborators:

Introductions
Collaboration Posts

NB: I’ll add to the list as they come.

8 comments

  1. I agree that hate is too great a burden to bear, best is to forgive and let go. Jane Love, you highlighted such powerful words on love like they say little drops of water make a mighty ocean in the same way, little acts of love contribute to making the world a better place for everyone. Be a superhero. A powerful post with a nice story in the beginning.

  2. Choosing to express love is always the best choice. I love this. The story of the Prodigal Son is a favorite too. We can all relate to the two brothers in one way or another. And yes, I do believe forgiveness is essential in loving, even though it’s really hard to forgive sometimes. Thanks for sharing this.

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