Since the delivery service arrived at my door this week bearing this review package, I've been working my way through Ken Wytsma's debut writing success, Pursuing Justice. Considering today is Valentine's Day, at this point I will say Ken's discussion of the 'Love' connection alone, is worth picking up the book. Here's the set up, abbreviated, but in Ken's words..
A "biblical concept of justice has a lot of shared space with synonyms such as love, mercy, charity... Justice is a sum of many parts.." All flowing from the very heart of God. From that heart flowed Love toward us, humankind. God's only begotten son, Love. Yet in the interpretation of culture, that Gift, that Love, has been lost in translation.
Love today, as described by Ken, is "an intensity of desire and longing." In essence, the more I want something, the more I love it."
This, vs Yeshua's version of loving others, as He exampled Love to us. The distinguishing characteristic of His Love visible via His followers is to be our life laid down for our friends. Open hearted giving. Loving in deed and Truth, not in empty words. " for Jesus, the metric of love is sacrifice. The irony, then, is that without our noticing, the meaning of love has been replaced with the definition of lust— measured by intensity of desire or longing.... the converse of its original significance. Our culture’s concept of love is primarily self-driven and pleasure-seeking." A temporary state. At odds with the depth and focus of self-giving Love exemplified and characteristic of Christ's call to Love.
"Love that is identified primarily by the intensity of its longing or its desire isn’t love—it’s lust. And actions that demonstrate an ongoing willingness to sacrificially serve others are, by Jesus’ definition, love. We think we love when we ache with passion; for Jesus, the measure is sacrificial action."
On this annual date with Love, may our actions of Love support our words of Love ...
May today be a truly Happy Valentine's Celebration!
*Full Discussion Guide for Pursuing Justice available for free direct download HEREplus DOWNLOAD DISCIPLESHIP LESSONS AND ACTIVITIES FOR PARENTS AND KIDS FOREACH CHAPTER
With appreciation to Thomas Nelson for providing a review copy without obligation in exchange for sharing my perspective.