With our definition of love in the last post, we can make some very interesting applications.
You shouldn’t love anything you can’t take anywhere. But not just anywhere, you also shouldn’t love anything that time could take from you.
But no one can take your memory of things from you. You can take them anywhere. They are a part of you. So while you shouldn’t love golf, you can love your memories of golf. And like golf.
You shouldn’t love coffee. You may be addicted to coffee. You can like coffee, or prefer it over other drinks. But if you love coffee, you literally hate all the time that you don’t have coffee. Which is the same as being addicted to it, or asking God not to be with you when you don’t have coffee.
You shouldn’t hate broccoli. You can dislike broccoli. But to say you hate broccoli is the same as saying you wish that broccoli didn’t exist. And I don’t think that’s what you mean. You may hate eating broccoli, but if you hate eating broccoli, you literally can’t see yourself ever eating it. And if you can’t imagine one reality where you do something, you have no hope of ever doing it.
If you look at porn, you’re literally imagining yourself with other women. By hoping for realities that include these women, you are literally hating your wife, and disconnecting with God.
Can I hate my job? Of course you can. But you shouldn’t. Why? Because by imagining a future without your job, you ask God not to be present in the job you have. Instead of hating your job, dislike your job, be grateful for it, and hope that it will get better. Which literally means to imagine future positive realities.
Love your neighbor as yourself. According to Jesus, it was the second greatest commandment. Its spiritual application is not what it seems. How do we love ourselves? Our self-love is literally not imagining a future without ourselves. Remember? You, by default, love yourself.
That is exactly what Jesus means by this. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you quite literally cannot imagine realities without these people. So we’re called to not imagine realities without anyone. To not hate. Which would be to distance ourselves from God.
So if reality stretches past death, into the afterlife? If love is imagining future realities with someone, and reality exists after death, the only way to imagine future realities with everyone is to show them the Truth, if that is the way to the afterlife. Because if eternity is real, and we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and we want to go to heaven, so we can imagine ourselves in all future realities, that means we are called to spread the Word. Because without that, our neighbors can’t go to heaven, and if heaven exists, they wouldn’t go. And if we can’t imagine them in heaven, we hate them.
So as Christians, we cannot love people that are not saved. Not in the same way we love ourselves. Because we have eternity. That’s like saying I can imagine this life with you, but not the next. Which is not far from wishing them to go to the fiery place.