John 14:15 : 'Jesus elevated love to a decision'
I have one thing to say that I have learned through the years.
It took me years to understand it:
'Jesus elevated love to a decision and not a feeling'.
I know it sounds hard to accept it or even swallow it deep inside especially when we think according to our carnal mind or if we live according to the way we feel.
You see, psychology and human sciences define 'love' as a feeling. Psychologists are not wrong to define love that way. If we think that way, then the scope in which we view love becomes limited to emotional triggers.
We know that Paul considered 'Love' as being the greatest thing to have and to display (reference 1 Corinthians 13). The passage of 1 Corinthians 13 is probably one of the most popular passage in the Bible. It is so popular that even the unbelievers use it to defend their views and positions. It is so popular to the point of being used to escape rebuttal or correction or to justify a non-scriptural position.
The main reason why the term 'love' has gotten under-used, misused or perverted is because we only view it as a feeling. As a result we say things like : 'Live the way you feel!
I am not saying that all feelings are bad. But I want to warn you of the danger of living according to the way we feel.
Let me illustrate this with a few examples:
*Many of us have the habit of setting up alarms before we go to sleep. Then in the morning around 5.30 am, when the alarm bell rings, we may try to get up but we don't in the hope that a strong feeling will get us up on our two feet. But the feeling does not come. So we sleep again because we only feel like sleeping more. In this example, we plan on getting up from bed when the feeling will come.
In such case, the only way to get up from bed is to move from our feelings to making a decision against the way we feel. People who are always on time at work usually get up from bed while feeling sleepy. They decide against the way they feel.
* In Genesis 4, Cain is about to kill his brother out of anger. In Genesis 4:7, God warns Cain to DO (decision) the right thing otherwise the sin is crouching at the door. But in his rage (feeling), Cain kills Abel and earns a curse. There was no Scriptures back then but the warning of God to Cain was the equivalent of the voice of the Holy Ghost and the voice we find in the Scriptures today. Cain refuses to filter his feeling through the voice of God and fails to DO (decide) the right thing. He is very similar to people who say: 'live according to the way you feel!'
He follows his feelings and yet places himself in danger. But for Cain, the only way to show love to Abel is to make a decision. At that point he cannot relay on his feelings.
* In Genesis 3, the serpent convinces Eve to eat the fruit. But if you read the serpent's tactics, you will soon realize that in verses 4 and 5 of the same chapter, it tries to convince Eve that God is hiding a good and amazing thing from them by forbidding them to eat the fruit The serpent's tactic was to arise a feeling of outrage or injustice in Eve. (we, millennial, see injustice everywhere now...) We know what happens next in Adam and Eve story.
*Here is my favorite example: In the Garden of Gethsemane (reference Matthew 26:36-46), Jesus is under anguish and sorrow because the hour of His death is getting closer. Knowing what 's awaiting Him, Jesus requests to be exempted from His horrible death.
I mean, anybody would have ran away from the horrible ordeal awaiting Jesus. The Lord felt anguish and sorrow but even in the midst of those feelings, He decides to abide to God's will (ref. Matthew 26:39). Jesus makes the decision against the feeling of fear, anguish and sorrow.
What does this have to do with love?
You see in John 14:15, Jesus says :'if you love Me, you will obey my commands'. And in many times we will not feel like doing what He tells us to do. In those moments, we will have to ignore our flesh or feelings and make a decision to obey Jesus , His Voice, His Scripture.
God's will may not always sound appealing to our feelings in the present, but as we abide to His will, we will understand how right it was and this will bring pleasure.
Love is defined as a feeling by psychologists but Jesus elevated it to a decision.
As a matter of fact, it is a danger to base our relationships on love only as a feeling. Because feelings fluctuate: 'today we are high, tomorrow we are low'. This is one of the reasons why people divorce easily. But when we make of love a 'decision' against the way we feel or against the circumstances then we ensure longevity in our relationships.
Love because you decide to.