The Spiritual Context of Love


The Spiritual Context of Love Popular denominational interpretation of love is limited to an emotional context which is unfortunately not the biblical. Whilst having a strong affection or feeling for someone or something is great, it is abstract and not concrete as the biblical authors understood it to be. It is promulgated in the worship songs, the sermons and in biblical schools that God is love and this love is sadly an interpretation of affection but if that were so then it would mean that God’s love has no objective reference point because one’s feelings is purely subjective. The concept of love as taught in Western culture has led to the destruction of many relationships and has left many in the dark concerning their relationship with God. To better understand the context of love in the scriptures, let’s take a look at the difference between abstract and concrete thought. In this world there are two cultures known as the Western culture which is influenced by the Greeks and there is the Eastern culture which is influenced by the Hebrew. The Greeks interpretation of thought was abstract, which simply meant that they viewed concepts and ideas in a way that cannot be experienced by the five senses whilst the Hebrews way of thinking was concrete, which meant that thoughts, ideas and concepts were something that can be experienced by the five senses. The word ‘anger’ for example, in the western understanding is an emotion, whilst in the Hebrew the word anger translates אף) awph) which literally means "nose", a concrete word. It is meant to give the picture that an angry person breathes hard and their nostrils begin to flare so the Hebrews see anger as the flaring of the nose. The Hebrew authors, always use words to express actions that accompany the thought. As a result of the misconceptions surrounding the topic of love, many denominational bodies have adopted the abstract thinking and replaced the original interpretation of love and so we have been groomed into thinking that God’s love for us is affection. But did you know that love translated from the Greek ‘agapao’ means love in a moral sense. Living from a moral sense simply means that loving is living principled. It is not living from strong emotions but from values that are the representation of righteousness and

justice. To love God is to demonstrate that action concretely and not abstractly by stirring your feelings. Jesus himself said that to the Jews that if you love me, you will keep my commandments. This love is concrete and therefore actions!

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