Learn to love appropriately.  You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere, and intelligent, not sentimental gush.” (Philippians 1:9 The Message)

Here’s a life-time proposition this morning… learning to love appropriately.   How flippantly we use the term ‘love’.  We say I would just love to have… or to go… or to be…  According to our word this morning love is sincere, which means ‘without admixture’, it’s not a result of something or someone else, but comes from within itself and is motivated by giving rather than receiving.  Love is never co-dependent on external things or people.

In his book; “The Road Less Traveled” M. Scott Peck says; “One of the aspects of dependency is that it is unconcerned with spiritual growth.  Dependent people are interested in their own nourishment, but no more; they desire filling, they desire to be happy; they don’t desire to grow, nor are they willing to tolerate the unhappiness, the loneliness and suffering involved in growth, …they care only that the other is there to satisfy them.” 

 We are given the pattern of processing this truth from Paul this morning …use your head… think!  Ask these questions – what am I feeling, why am I feeling this way, what do I hope to receive in return?  Test your feelings.  Unconditional or sincere love requires no return, but will produce a profound increase in spiritual enlightenment and the way of the Cross.  Love is more than mental acquiescence, more than a sentimental emotion.  It is an act of the will that involves the mind and the emotion, love is willing to pay the price to gain the prize of a relationship that flows from giving not getting.

Our error is in making ourselves our own center and thinking more of our claims on others than of our obligations to them.  Christ teaches us that these are one.” (Alexander MacLaren)

Today remember we soon shall move through the shadow cast by the remembrance of the Cross of Calvary.   Grow in the grace and knowledge that this great love concerned itself only with giving, but in the giving gained the resurrection of eternal life with God for all mankind… this is spiritual growth and appropriate Love!

Further Reading:  Philippians 1