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Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 08:56
by Poppyseed
swimordie wrote:Perfect, Orson. I see you played this game with your family before I "played" it here.

That was my exact point. I guess having the obvious as a rhetorical now, we can move on to the next logical: where does obedience end and love begin or where does love end and obedience begin?

Well, in my life they both work together to help me get where God wants me to go. Sometimes it is love that brings me to obedience. Other times it is obedience that trains me up in love.

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 12:22
by Orson
swimordie wrote:...we can move on to the next logical: where does obedience end and love begin or where does love end and obedience begin?
That is an excellent question to ponder. I often wonder about our ability as mortals to understand "perfect love" well enough in some difficult situations to know what action will demonstrate the greater love. I guess in such "gray" areas it's most important to HAVE the love - even if we don't know how to perfectly demonstrate it.

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 17:03
by swimordie
You guys really make me think. I had a thought.

Christ wasn't perfect.

How's that for a starter!

What I mean is that he broke pretty hard, fast, "commandments" in the context of who he was, where he lived, etc. In fact, these were held against him at the trial that led to his execution. If he was perfectly obedient, why did he break these commandments? Obviously, I know why. My point is just that: he was obedient to his higher power! Not the decrees of his religion.

If I drank wine at the communion of my nephew to demonstrate love and support for him and his family, which level of the celestial kingdom would I be forfeiting? ;) (too cynical?? :roll: )

Not sure my point, that just felt like a huge epiphany for me. :oops:

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 18:00
by Curt Sunshine
Ultimately, we believe that we will be judged according to our obedience to our own consciences - and our attempts to change our natural (wo)man into the image of our ideal, GOD.

It's finding the balance between those two ideals that is fascinating and difficult for me - letting the second ideal guide my attempts to understand and live according to the first ideal. The central struggle, imo, might be not letting the first ideal overshadow the second - not allowing our perception of what we are inclined to do to take priority over what we MUST do to learn and grow and stretch.

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 18:08
by Poppyseed
I really really love this topic. It's such a balancing act...all of this. I wish we talked more in the church about balance. I think so many are stuck in perfectionistic patterns. I still have to battle those tendancies in my head and I don't think this is God's paradigm at all!

I love that Christ was a bit of a boat rocker. I guess I thought the restoration was that kinda thing too. Perhaps we just aren't as good at keeping the balance at Jesus was. :)

But for me and my journey, I really feel like I want to pursue what love really is and try best I can to be better at it or perhaps qualify for the gifts of the Lord in this regard. Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it.

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 22:33
by swimordie
Poppyseed wrote:Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it.
This is so great, poppy. I love it so much I might make it my signature. That was sooooo me!!!!!! :oops:

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 27 Aug 2009, 23:25
by Jordan
Great topic, guys.
HiJolly wrote: We first start out obeying due to either example or coersion. At least, I did. Then it was reinforced by the Church's social/cultural 'norm' of (surface) obedience.

Then I found as I obeyed at length and did so because *I* mostly wanted to, that the reasons for the commandments began to be clear to me.

Then after a while God blessed me with His Love (a mystical consciousness kinda thing) and then at last, for the first time, I knew what love really was! I also knew the significance of the statement "We love Him because He first Loved us".

Then at last, the commandments became a joy to live, as I understood "If ye love me, keep my commandments".

That was/is my journey.

HiJolly
I think this is absolute poetry.

Commandments aren't made to be kept. They are tools to be used.
That duty driven obedience is good starting out, good for getting us into good habits. But invariably we ask ourselves 'what am I doing?' just like Daniel Caruso in the Karate Kid (YES, I did just cite the Karate freaking Kid. Rent it.)

But we're not using the rules the way they were meant to be used until we see what they're for. Daniel-san had trouble obeying 'wax on wax off' until he saw that doing it made him awesome. Suddenly the idea of obeying disappeared, swallowed by the idea of becoming.

There comes a point where we stop obeying the rules. Instead we do things for love of a purpose. So, in my foggy brain (a brain that cites 80s movies as much as humanly possible), comparing perfect obedience to perfect love is like comparing waxing cars to winning a fight. They can't be at odds. Commandments are tools. We use them or we don't. When used without insight, we grow resentful. When used with insight, we grow in love.

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 29 Aug 2009, 15:46
by swimordie
Jordan wrote: There comes a point where we stop obeying the rules. Instead we do things for love of a purpose.
That's a GREAT description of Christ's example of love vs. obedience.

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 29 Aug 2009, 22:39
by Heber13
I think this is where my view of universal truth fits in. Obedience to the correct truth includes love, not in opposition to it.

I think when you are 100% obedient to God's commandments...you are expressing 100% love to God for understanding His will and for your neighbor for serving God and blessing your neighbor.

In other words, if we truly understood the reason for obedience, it would include doing whatever you're doing out of love.

On the flip side, you could be obedient to a commandment to the letter of the law as you interpret it, but if that is being done in hate or spite for others or pride...it is not really obedient to the spirit of the law God gave the commandment under, and therefore may be obedient to a rule, but not obedient to God's will.

Think of Christ healing on the sabbath... that act was perfectly obedient in keeping the sabbath holy and loving others and loving God. Those who saw it repulsive and wrong were the ones not understanding the commandment in the first place.

I'm trying to think of an example of righteous obedience that is not done out of love. Tonight, I can't think of one.

Re: Perfection vs. Love, the final battle

Posted: 30 Aug 2009, 17:21
by Poppyseed
Maybe Heber, that's what the Lord meant when he said that " if ye have not Charity, ye are nothing."