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What is Love?

Recently, I’ve come to reflect about my personal definition of love when a friend asked  my perspective on it. It was such an abstract concept that people tend to give various definitions to it based on their experiences.

After contemplating on love, I’ve realized this is my personal definition:

Love is experiencing extraordinary moments that accumulated over time, then somehow choosing to love the person no matter what. Love is a choice and committing to that choice over and over again. True love without sacrifice is meaningless.

As humans, it is our nature to think first about ourselves, but if you have chosen to love the other person, sacrificing your own self for what’s best for the other, you have experienced true love.

Even if you think the person does not deserve your love but still choose to love that person over and over again, that’s true love.

Love is not a responsibility but a choice. If it’s a responsibility, then even if you don’t want it, you’ll do it anyway. Like you’re obligated. But if it’s a choice, you are deciding to love the person and accepting the consequences connected with that decision. You are owning your love for that person.

 

Is it applicable to any type of relationship? My above definition is definitely applicable to romantic and familial relationship. But what about spiritual? About love for friends? About love for oneself? About love for one’s country?

 

I think it will all boil down to one’s freedom of will. Humans are given the freedom to choose, the freedom to say yes, to say no, the freedom to believe or not to believe, the freedom to trust, or not to trust. I think it all boils down to that power to choose given to us. But how do we use this power in ways not destructing but encouraging to people? How can we use this freedom to lift others up instead of pushing them down?

 

I think it is all about love. And as with any type of relationship, whether for your family, whether for your friends, whether for your significant other, whether for a higher being that you believe or not, it will always be a choice to love and receive love. A choice we are given to show the true meaning of life on this earth.

 

What about the spiritual definition of love?

I always remember what Paul said to the Corinthian church about love in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 (Contemporary English Version):

 

Love: The Universal Spiritual Gift

 If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.

Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant, it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints, it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.

Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

As for prophecies, they will be brought to an end. As for tongues, they will stop. As for knowledge, it will be brought to an end. We know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, what is partial will be brought to an end. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, reason like a child, think like a child. But now that I have become a man, I’ve put an end to childish things. Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known.

Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.

 

With the above spiritual definition of love, it will always be hard to comprehend and apply such if we are face to face with pain, hurt, anger, sickness, doubt and problems. But I guess love is a universal spiritual gift given to us by the One true creator of love.  If we receive that unconditional love from the creator, I think it will be easier to give love to others. But above all, I think it will always be a choice for us whether to give the love that we receive, or not at all.

 

At the end of the day, I have pictured the love that Jesus has showed me all my life:

Even though I am not patient and want my own way, He is still patient with me and teaches me to put others first.

Even though I am lost with my identity, He has given me a new life. The old has gone, the new has come.

Even though I am a complainer, He is still patient with me, hearing my concerns, loving me and doesn’t keep a record of my wrongs. He has erased my transgressions from east to west.

Even though I didn’t feel loved growing up, He still died on the cross to show how much He loves me. He could have wiped the people from earth, He could have judged me and condemned me but instead, He showed love in its highest form. He showed love through sacrifice. He showed power in love when He chose to love you and me despite our past, our sins, our problems, our ego, our accomplishments, our rejection of Him. He still chose to love.

That for me, is the true definition of love.

Then, I realized,

Love is always a choice. It will always be a choice.

A choice to give love. A choice to receive love.

And in life, we always live with the consequence of that choice.

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Back to Basics

I’ve been contemplating these past weeks whether or not to dedicate this page to purely my career goals. As you may have noticed, I’ve deleted some of my posts that reveals the personal side of me, well, maybe because I wanted to focus on helping people know more about educational technology and as it happens here in the Philippines. But heck, it has been quite hard not to share both the good and the bad things that happen to me, which, in one way or another, could inspire some of you.

 

So, I’m trying to redesign this part of my online life. I’m thinking of posting all my work-related stories to my other blog page, elearninginph, and just inspire you here with all my personal stories about what I experience about life. If you think you wanna keep your feeds clean and professional in one-way or another, feel free to unfollow me. 🙂 But if you want to be inspired, just allow me to share my life with you.

 

Why? 

Now that I’m older, I’ve realized that keeping my life private is a better way to live life. I’m able to share bits and pieces to a few of my friends, and it’s less time to manage my online and social media life. But when I first set up this blog page about 10 years ago, my goal is to just keep writing, and let my introvert self share bits and pieces to the world. It is my way of growing and expressing myself.

 

So now, after 10 years, I’m going back to the first reason I’m blogging — to just write and express myself.

Thus, the title for this post is Back to Basics.

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In the next few days, I’ll be deleting my work-related posts here. Instead, I’ll be sharing my experiences about the places I’ve traveled, books I’ve read, people I’ve met, movies I’ve watched, ideas that inspired me, and lessons I’ve learned about life. You will get to know me better, as I would be writing — no holds barred.

 

So there. 🙂

 

Lineage of Grace & Sons of Encouragement

For the past month, I have been reading the book series Lineage of Grace and Sons of Encouragement by Francine Rivers. I have been affected by these books in such a way that it is necessary to blog about the wisdom and the faith I’ve learned along the way.

 

For my next series of posts, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about each book as an answer to the Seek and Find portion. I hope that you’ll bear with me and be encouraged eventually.

 

To start, I’ll give you a background as to why I’ve chosen the series. As a Christmas present, a friend gave Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I enjoyed reading the book as it allowed me to immerse into the author’s unconscious and conscious mind about the protagonist’s coming of age while in the university. It talked about love, death, depression, sex and how these can affect the person mentally and emotionally. However, the after-effect of the book made me go back to the reason why I veered away from books dealing with such things:

 

Depression is just lurking any time of the day, and my mind is a battleground I need to defend from the enemies. Whatever I put into my mind will affect me spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Books and music are my weapons to keep defending my battleground against the enemy.

 

I have been depressed for a few days, so when I chanced upon Francine Rivers (my fave author) and her book series in Kindle Store, I bought the books and was not disappointed so far. Here’s a quick description of each series:

 

  • Lineage of Grace is a book compilation about the stories of five women in the Bible who have become part of the lineage of Abraham to Jesus Christ. These women — Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary — have been mentioned in the Bible for their faith in God, and their stories tell about the risks they have to take to show their faith and fulfill their calling. This book has been 2009 Retailer’s Choice Award winner, and no wonder why. I have finished 3 of the 5 books and I felt compelled to write my own realizations to share to you.
  • Books included: Unveiled, Unashamed, Unshaken, Unspoken, Unafraidlineage-of-grace_300

 

  • Sons of Encouragement tells us about the stories of five men in the Bible who supported and stood behind the heroes of the faith in their journey to lead the people of God. These men — Aaron, Caleb, Jonathan, Amos and Silas had their hearts turned towards God. As each man responded to God’s call to support His chosen leaders, each became a man with courage and purpose, and eventually changed the course of history for the Israelites, and for anyone who believes in God.
  • Books included: The Priest, The Warrior, The Prince, The Prophet, The Scribesons-of-encouragement_3001

So there. A short description apt for the series of posts I’ll be writing in the next days or weeks. Though these series have been only a work of fiction; these, however, definitely gave me an idea on what could have transpired during the old testament times. It arouse in me faith like no other, especially when reading the miracles God made through Moses and Joshua. I admit, I have a hard time reading through the old testament, but these work of fiction gave me a reason to look forward to reading those stories in the Bible again.

 

For anyone interested in reading the books in the series, I highly recommend it! You can even refer to the Old Testament stories in the Bible if you wanted to have a peek at what will happen at the end. Hehe.

 

Lastly, the books are good for group discussion with its Seek and Find portion. Definitely, if you’re up to learning more and applying it to your daily life, you can answer those and have a conversation with your trusted friends. These will be a good introspection practice on your end. 🙂