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Opinions of Saturday, 11 March 2017

Columnist: Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo

This important thing called 'love'

1) Love is possessive --- Guard it carefully

In my opinion, every form of love has a central element of possessiveness. But true love also allows freedom. Any form of love that dominates and controls without allowing anyone to be free, is not genuine love.

Love should not therefore be allowed to possess to the point of putting shackles on the one you love, or putting a cage around the object in question (money or property etc.), whereby people even “get electrocuted” or “chased away by lions” when they try to touch whom or what you love.

“What you love” could be your own body, girlfriend, boyfriend, fiancée, spouse, parent, child, special friend, relative, your house, plot of land, special food at home, car, cell phone or expensive electronics, ministry, business, position of authority, program, computer, sports, clothing, jewelry, special achievement etc.

You can be deceived to believe you are carefully protecting the thing or person, when you are actually possessing with crazy immature passion that is rooted in intense selfishness, and rather engaging in indirect slavery for the person or thing. Undue possessiveness can unconsciously imprison you as well with selfish love that will restrict and squeeze you in return, and keep people or even future blessings away from you, as you try to love the other person or thing with overzealous infatuation.

If love is not properly guarded and strictly supervised, it can get out of control, run wild, and create untold chaos plus severe damages all over the place. All of us hear all the stories in the news daily, and witness all the abuses and violence due to competitive jealousy and rivalry over love that results in betrayals, suspicions, and accusations in relationships and marriages, politics, businesses, and among family members and friends, right? When you love something or someone, you literally possess the thing or the person in your heart to some extent naturally, depending on the level and intensity of your love. That is why you must carefully watch your mind (thoughts) and heart (emotions) to find out where and how you allow them to go day by day.

I have, however, found out that if you are a true Christian, the Spirit and peace of God in your heart will always be sure indicator when your thoughts and heart are going astray, out of step with the directions and will of God’s Spirit, and being deceived to operate in the flesh. We can be extremely jealous (have the negative feeling that someone is also getting what you have) or envious (desiring to possess what someone else has) regarding things or people we tend to love.

Honestly, when you have strong love for someone or for something, the “natural selfish man” in you (which we are born with as sinners) will begin to feel selfish and yell within you: “Hei! That is only for me! Don’t touch my thing!” It is your duty to quickly recognize the danger, admit it, and quickly kick away that negative thought out of your mind, and quench those selfish feelings in your heart before they sink deeper into your spirit and stay there stubbornly to torment you and deceive you to take unwarranted and sometimes even stupid steps to “protect your thing.”

Suspicion and mistrust suddenly spring up like mushroom in the dark, when you feel anxious and begin to panic, that your love is being shared or stolen by someone. No matter whom you are dealing with, the person drawing close to what or whom you love, suddenly becomes a feared or threatening competitor (even your pastor, fellow minister, church elder, or deacon, brother, sister, parent, child, boss, employee, in-law, trusted counselor, friend, ministry partner, business partner, political comrade etc.). When that happens, some bosses quickly fire people meaninglessly, people move away to live somewhere else; others immediately cease all communication; and people could resign from their positions of responsibility or authority for no tangible reason. Some married men can go to the extent of taking the wife hostage and making her a captive at home and ensure there are no interactions with anyone.

It is common overseas where I have come across several husbands who control their wives so much that they rob them of interactions with others to the extent of using all kinds of tricks to ensure that the wife never learns how to drive and be able to go out easily. They will use several means to stop them from going to visit anybody or any place, or attending any outside function, including even going to church.

Some spouses or fiancées (ladies and gentlemen alike) will behave like spying agents screening everything and spying every move, reading into everything of yours including the screening of your phone calls, times you go in and out of the home, e-mails, and internet searches. They will critically examine colors and stains in your garments especially under-wears, and read even into even your laughter, quietness, coughing, and sneezing.

Love is such a strong emotional and spiritual force, and an invisible fierce fire to the extent that when it becomes SELFISH AND SELF-CENTERED LOVE that is misdirected and mishandled, it can burn us and burn anyone or anything else that comes within the range of the destructive emissions coming out of us.

Most of the destructive effects of the unbridled and mismanaged cravings are normally the results of vengeance and the burning passions of envy and jealousy that seek to possess the thing or person all alone without sharing the sweetness, benefits, or glory of the love and affection with anyone. These negative applications of the passion of selfish love could result in things like violence; hard words; abuses; setting of traps to frame the person; crafting of lies; defamation of character; secret slander; spreading of false rumors; publications to destroy reputation; obstruction of the person’s benefits or favors; hindering his or her opportunities; robbing the person of important things; stopping him or her from having friends or even contacting family members and people who can help him or her; painful break of sweet relationship and marriage plans; separation of partners in a flourishing marriage or business; complete divorce; using every spiritual and physical means to stop one from sharing property or money; pronouncing curses; convincing or paying people to do harm to the person; casting of spells; and other wicked schemes etc.

We must see the thoughts and feelings plus the entire idea of love as an important gift from God that we are privileged to inherit and exercise. Therefore it is a primary object of attack by the devil and diabolical forces.

We must learn how to exercise and apply love with the required wisdom, carefulness, sacrifice, understanding, selflessness, godliness, and fear of God that must be intimately attached to our thoughts and feelings of love and affection towards people.

Application of scriptures like 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8; 1 Peter 4:8, plus sincere prayers from our hearts, will always enable us to allow the possessive nature of love to operate correctly in our hearts and minds, for us to sincerely open our hearts to people, for real love, concerns, care, compassion, sympathy, kindness, mercy, and partnership without possessing to the extent of making things and people our own possessions in selfish ways that will rather destroy the essence and true meaning of love, and do more harm than good.

Yes, you must learn to carefully, wisely, sensibly, spiritually, and maturely guard any love you have for anyone or anything at any time, for it to receive God’s approval, favor, and blessings.

2) Love is costly and risky --- Understand it thoroughly

I can imagine someone saying “Yes, love costs. I understand. But you mean that love is risky too? Since we seek to preserve ourselves, why then should we run the risk of loving others?”

The fact is: Love is COSTLY because it involves sacrifice. Love is RISKY because you may not get love in return. Ahaaaa! Now you see my point, eh? The varieties of disappointments, pain, and broken hearts that we have all suffered in many ways, can be largely attributed to these two fundamental facts that we have either overlooked or not understood about true love.

Look at how the Author of love Himself, Jesus (God) was finally treated by those He sincerely loved and brought Himself so low to their level in order to serve, heal, feed, teach, embrace, love, and save them.

The true gift of love is not just what you give, but what you share. And, sharing means YOU CANNOT JUST GIVE LEFTOVERS, after you have enjoyed the good portions.

It means also that it might not be enough for you, or could be very dear to you, but YOU SACRIFICE AND SHARE, either the whole thing (after having it for a while) or part of it (although you had originally planned to use all of it).

The fact is that you cannot run away from sacrifices if you really love anyone.

If you don’t want to sacrifice as you show love to people, then no one can date, court, or marry you, or do business and ministry with you, or live happily with you as a family member, friend, or visitor under one roof, or work happily with you in the same office.

If you selfishly want to have all of your body, materials, resources, blessings, gifts, talents, money, property, business profits, praises, recognition, time, favors, ministry, spiritual endowments etc. ONLY FOR YOURSELF, AND GIVE ONLY LEFTOVERS OR GIVE NOTHING IN ORDER TO AVOID SACRIFICES AND RISKS then you will always be alone without any loyal friend, and finally die alone without making any meaningful impact on any life in this world.

If you are also afraid and apprehensive that you may not receive any similar love in return for the love you are showing, giving, or sacrificing, then you will avoid a lot of opportunities to demonstrate love to many people, hoard God’s gifts that He gave you with the purpose of passing them through you for others, and thereby lose many blessings as well.

Jesus clearly and loudly echoed an important divine principle to us as a door for our godliness, breakthroughs, and favors, that “IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE” (Acts 20:35).

Do your best to fight every thought and temptation to give, pledge, promise, vow, participate, follow, serve, and give support with the primary motive of getting something back by all means. If you have such a habit, then God may have to discipline you to learn how to give unconditionally for Him to bless you properly.

Of course you must give to others and show love wisely; but, please, settle it in your mind and heart that whether it is in a relationship, marriage, home, family situation, in-law matters, school, workplace, church, ministry on the street etc., YOUR ULTIMATE REWARD AND APPROVAL COMES FROM GOD.

Trust the Lord enough to believe that all of your sacrificial love, and the risks you are taking to love others or offer kindness and support WILL BE FINALLY REWARDED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ACCORDING TO GOD’S PROMISES. THE LORD WILL NEVER FAIL YOU.

It may take some time for you to receive your full rewards and benefits for your love; and people (plus yourself) might wonder if you had not been a fool and a weak person to love, demonstrated kindness, offered assistance, and spent your time and resources the way you did.

But always remember your Savior Jesus. It took Him 30 years to prepare for 3 years of ministry. Tell yourself: “You may tell lies about me, despise me, deny me, abuse me, dump me, abandon me, throw me out, rob me, malign me, spread false rumors about me, slander me, gossip about me, mock me, cheat me or cheat on me, accuse me, try me, condemn me, crucify me, and bury me. BUT you wait and see. BECAUSE I HAVE ENTRUSTED ALL OF MY LIFE INTO THE HANDS OF A FAITHFUL GOD THE FATHER (Just as Jesus did and said ‘Father into Thy hands I commend My Spirit’), I WILL RISE AGAIN! AND I WILL RECEIVE GOD’S GLORY. If I keep sacrificing and risking my life to love others, and continue to obey the Lord, he has promised that my latter glory will be more splendid than my first glory with which I entered this word as a beautiful baby some years ago.” Keep loving! Your genuine love will never be in vain. You will by all means reap the good seeds you sow.

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Written By Dr. Samuel Kisseadoo (Professor of Biology, Ordained Licensed Minister, International Evangelist, Bible Teacher. Relationships, Marriage, and Family Counselor), Virginia, USA. E-mail: kisseadoo@msn.com.

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