Spotlight 6/2020: To be free in Christ means learning how to love

Is it better to pick a beautiful flower and take it home or water it so that you can have the pleasure of admiring it all the time? District Apostle Enrique Minio from Argentina has an answer to this question.

When I thought about the beautiful phrase that the Chief Apostle gave us as a motto for this year I thought about the difference between desire and love. Both feelings seem to be the same, yet they are no doubt different. What is the difference?

We often confuse love and desire, or vice versa.

Desire is the emotion directed at attaining something from people or objects and using them to satisfy one’s own needs. Desire implies the wish to possess something or someone. When it comes to people and this feeling is not reciprocated it can quickly lead to frustration and disappointment …

To love is to wish what is best for others, even if their interests and motivations are completely different. When I love someone, I give the other person freedom and leeway, even if her or his path is different from my own. Love is selfless and implies that I give everything without expecting anything, with no strings attached.

An ancient Oriental teaching takes the example of a flower. If you want it you will pick it and take it with you. But if you love it you will water it and take care of it every day.

We can only love what we know. God knows us perfectly and has given us the possibility of attaining our inheritance in His kingdom of glory. Under the activity of His word God wants us to get to know Him more and more each day so that we love Him and, by loving Him, also love our neighbour. Through the activity of the Holy Spirit He teaches us how to love. And in this time of grace He gives us the opportunity to try again each day anew.

Christ makes us free because He loves us. He takes care of us, He allows us to freely choose His love. He does not force us, He teaches us. He loved us before the foundation of the world. He gave His life for us and prepared the way which will lead us to perfect liberty with Him for all eternity, if we wish.

In his epistle to the Corinthians, Apostle Paul describes some of the characteristics of love: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13: 4–7 ). In order to see if we are free in Christ we must analyse our inner self and verify whether we truly love God and our neighbour.

Photo: INA Sudamérica

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Enrique Eduardo Minio