GREAT Morning Beloved!
What’s Love Got to do with it?
A college professor had his sociology class go into the Baltimore slums to get case histories of 200 young boys. They were asked to write an evaluation of each boy’s future. In every case the students wrote, “He hasn’t got a chance.”
Twenty-five years later another sociology professor came across the earlier study. He had his students follow up on the project to see what had happened to those boys.
With the exception of 20 boys who had moved away or died, the students learned that 176 of the remaining 180 had achieved more than ordinary success as lawyers, doctors, and businessmen.
The professor was astounded and decided to pursue the matter further.
Fortunately, all the men were in the area, and he was able to ask each one, “How do you account for your success?”
In each case the reply came with feeling, “There was a teacher.”
The teacher was still alive, so he sought her out and asked the elderly but still alert lady what magic formula she had used to pull these boys out of the slums into successful achievement.
The teacher’s eyes sparkled and her lips broke into a gentle smile. “It’s really very simple,” she said. “I loved those boys.” (Chicken Soup for the Soul)
We often poo-poo the power of love, yet many more stories like this prove the power it has. And we are aware that love & connection are one of the basic needs of humans.
We in Unity talk about the power of Love. We affirm that we are love because we come from love…God is only LOVE and we are of God.
Everyone has their own idea of what Love is. In the 21st century, many seem to have their own definition of the word “love”—from popular talk show hosts to your garden variety psychologists and self-styled pop icons, everyone wants to weigh in. Even you and me!
Our English language is lacking in having only one word, LOVE, that really expands over many ideas and definitions. The Greeks have 6 words for the different types of love and in Spanish there are 11words just nouns for love, that doesn’t include verbs and all the side meaning of affection.
Think for a moment what LOVE means to you….
In an age when words speak much louder than actions, it’s high time we return to the only one who can truly define “love”—the One who created it:
“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. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–8)
Now place that definition before the meaning you had a moment ago….how do you compare?
I’m guessing closer that we think.
In our human form, love often takes on our needs…and rightly so, to a point. On a human level we do have certain needs to be successful humans.
But I believe part of that ‘need’ is also to give….to give love.
Most of you know that my belief about love is in the verb…loving. I believe many of societies issues can be lessened by giving love.
1 John 3:18: “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue. but in deed and in truth.”
And that giving can be simple…for example; many of you here give in many ways, from participating in the Service as Greeters, Platform Assistants, to Fellowship helpers bringing food to share and cleaning up after, providing flowers, leading groups, sharing food and clothing and pet food and backpack items and items for our Service people, and playing games during Game Night…oh yes! That is sharing love too.
All that is happening here.
But you do much more…think now….where do you share your love?
Unity believes that Jesus had the right idea about LOVE. He asked us to love God and love each other.
Jesus did not send us into the world to make believers but to make disciples. We can worship Jesus without doing the things he says. We can believe in him and still not follow him.
In fact, there’s a passage in Corinthians that says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
SO how did we get to “what’s love got to do with it?” That kind of minimalizes love, doesn’t it?
Haven’t we minimalized the ‘real love’ that is our Principle? Are we really following what our Way-shower has asked us to do?
The important becomes trivial, and then the trivial becomes important.
We got where we are when loving people and loving God and really knowing what that means becomes minimized. Then possessions and power and prestige and what people think and what you wear and what schools your kids go to and how you’re doing, produces these demands where we start living lives that are a shadow of who we really are.
What we want to do is flip that…to minimalize ‘things’ and maximize love. –
When we talk about purposely, specifically loving other people in authentic ways – some of the trivial things all of a sudden lose their luster. Who cares about this or that, when love is really happening?
How do we then maximize love, so love becomes what’s important and some of those trivial, less important things, diminish in their priority and demand on your life.
I believe the key is learning to love…to Be loving
The way love works is, love celebrates our differences. Love looks at different people and realizes that every one of them is important and they’re different colors and they’re different shapes, but love celebrates differences and love refuses to compare
Jesus demonstrated love’s power to bless and heal ourselves and all those around us. He said one of the greatest commandments is to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). Jesus further commanded his disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
Ancient and modern-day prophets alike have spoken about this concept of unconditional love for others. St. Francis of Assisi prayed: “Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” In his book, Strength to Love, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spelled out a formula for loving your enemies: “Hatred cannot drive away hatred; only love can do that.”
We can all do our part in sharing love. There are as many ways as there are people in this room. And if you think you can’t get past something and change it to love, consider this:
Anthony Ray Hinton in his book, The Sun Does Shine. After spending 28 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit, Hinton was exonerated in 2015. When he was initially sentenced, he asked to speak to the court and proceeded to forgive each one of those who held his life and his fate in their hands. He told them he didn’t hate them, and, in fact, he said he loved them. During nearly three decades behind bars, he taught his fellow death row inmates the power of unconditional love through Bible and book studies.
A white supremacist who was about to be executed was asked whether he had any final words. He was one of the men Hinton had befriended, and he observed that the very people he had been taught to hate were the ones who, in prison, taught him how to love.
As Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore wrote: “Love is the great harmonizer and healer … love will bring your own to you, adjust all misunderstandings, and make your life and your affairs healthy, happy, harmonious, and free”.
If we choose to be happy, we must help others find happiness. If we desire to be loved, we must spread that love around.
The story is told of a farmer whose corn each year earned the winning prize at the state fair. One year, a reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew his corn. The farmer told the reporter that he shared his prize-winning seed corn with his neighbors.
When asked why, the farmer explained: “The wind picks up the pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If the neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”
The same is true for the way we live our lives. If we wish to live in peace and harmony, we must help our neighbors, families and friends do the same.
See it as opportunity in every situation.