What is this thing called love?
In my previous post I stated I would explore two blog comments to attach courage with love and wisdom, versus, a third comment that ‘‘most virtues are an imperfect balance between two vices (such as courage being a balance between running headlong into danger and cowardly running away).”
I do not concur with the statement that most virtues are an imperfect balance, and will explain why. In this post I will focus on virtue and love (or Charity)
Virtue is defined as behavior showing high moral standards. One synonym of virtue is righteousness. One antonym of virtue is vice.
Therefore, the statement linking a virtue as a vice is a misnomer.
Defining the Meaning of the Virtue Love (or Charity)
Love is probably the most popular emotional word used in the world to describe feelings or passion. For example, I loved that movie, I love doing nothing. I love potato chips, I love etc. etc.
Love as a Virtue – Excerpt
“We love because God has loved us first.” So we read in 1 John 4:19. In an article a few weeks back, I suggested that we should learn from Thomas Aquinas that love can be both a passion and a virtue. In the modern world, we tend to think of love only as an emotion – something we “fall into,” something that “happens to us.” There is certainly love of this sort: love that we “feel” and sometimes feel very strongly. But it’s important to realize that this is not the only kind of love. There is also love as a virtue – when love becomes not merely a feeling we have, but a settled disposition to do good for others: a disposition to be self-sacrificing, compassionate, and just.”
Love as a Law in the Bible
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40 New King James Version (NKJV)
Hatred awakens strife, but love covers all offenses. (Proverb 10:12)
Love and hate are antithetic social attitudes which produce opposite effects. Hate awakens strife and contention while love covers over all offenses. Hate seeks a permanent enduring expression for differences between man and man, since its objective is social fragmentation and it would be annihilated by reconciliation. Love is engaged in covering up possible causes of offence. So that they may not appear as such. This means that love suffers long and kind. Wrongs are endured and passed-over for the sake of communal peace. (Proverbs Mc Kane)
What is My Point
Divine Love is a virtue, a blessing, as well as a Commandment of our Creator. A Commandment is not a choice to make, it is a God’s Divine Rule of Law to be obeyed. Our choice is not to balance love to suit our choices, whims, interpretations, feelings, passions, or to worship as an idol. Our choice is to strive to be virtuous, a perfect state of being to achieve in life.
Love will suffer wrongs for the sake of communal peace and righteousness.
Divine Love is perfect love, same as virtue is moral perfection. Something perfect has no need to be balanced. There are no misnomer vices in Divine Love, or in Moral Virtue. Hatred is the antithesis of Love.
In My Next Post
I will explore the virtue of Wisdom (or Prudence).
Love as a Virtue HERE
Suffer Righteousness HERE
Why Love is Not Enough HERE
Post One HERE