Disinterested Love

TibiasDad

Well-known member
I was reading an article on New England Theology in which the theology of Jonathan Edwards was being discussed, and I found the following information regarding what is termed "disinterested love":

"Another major element of Edwards's theology is the concept of disinterested love. Edwards believed that true Christians are disinterested in themselves and completely preoccupied with the beauty of God and his desires, ways and purposes. Their lives are God-centered rather than self-centered.[15] Attainment of this disinterested spirituality was only possible through regeneration and conversion, when the Holy Spirit allowed the individual to see and understand the inherent beauty and excellency of God.[16]

"Such disinterested spirituality was an important part of Edwards's own doctrine of assurance. If one's religious feelings or, in Edwards's language, affections (such as love and desire) are driven by self-interest (such as "God loves me" or "I am saved"), then they are not marks of true religion. In his view, authentic religious affections arise from the soul that is completely preoccupied with God's worth and excellency. In fact, Edwards notes that the truly converted will be so disinterested in themselves that their own salvation will not be their primary concern:

"It has more frequently been so amongst us, that when persons have first had the Gospel ground of relief for lost sinners discovered to them, and have been entertaining their minds with the sweet prospect, they have thought nothing at that time of their being converted. ... There is wrought in them a holy repose of soul in God through Christ, and a secret disposition to fear and love him, and to hope for blessing from him in this way. And yet they have no imagination that they are now converted, it don't so much as come in their minds.[17]


"For Edwards, then, gaining assurance of one's salvation should not be the primary concern of a new convert. He believed assurance would develop as a convert grew in sanctification. The concept of disinterested love also led to an ethic of self-denial. The spread of the gospel and the salvation of people should be a Christian's primary concerns.[18]"

Now, what I, as a Wesleyan Arminian, find interesting, is the similarities of this concept with the Wesleyan doctrine of "perfect love", or what is traditionally termed as " entire sanctification ". There are many similarities, as well as differences:

Similarities:

1) That the believer can and should attain to being "disinterested in themselves and completely preoccupied with the beauty of God and his desires, ways and purposes", in other words, the true believer will demonstrate a consistent lifestyle of God's will being enacted over self-will in an instinctual manner.

2) That this behavior is not natural to man, and is "only possible through regeneration and conversion, when the Holy Spirit allowed the individual to see and understand the inherent beauty and excellency of God.[16]", or by some secondary act of grace by God.

3) And that the effect of this grace changes to focus and motivations of the believer to be outwardly pointed toward concerns for others rather than themselves. (see Phil 2:4) That the "spread of the gospel and the salvation of people should be a Christian's primary concerns.[18]" "


Differences:

1) Edwards sees this as an nearly immediate effect of conversation, and to not have this mark of change means "they are not marks of true religion"! Wesleyan adherents would say that this is a mark of being sanctified wholly, subsequent to true conversion, and having perfect love toward God and loving our neighbor as ourselves!

2) That a true believer does not have any sense of "God loves me", or sense of personal awareness that "I am saved", whereas Wesleyan thought would say that we are definitely aware and concerned with God's love for us, and that we are indeed saved from wrath and sin and death, and that the Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God. (Rom 8:16)



Holiness teaching, properly taught and understood, says that we all should and can "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matt 12: 30-31) And that "...perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love." (1 John 4:18) Both Edwards and Wesley make this an attainable and necessary experience in this life, and that this is the true mark of a believer.

Finally, I must confess that I had not been familiar with the term "disinterested love" before reading this article, but was struck by the way it reminded me of the foundational distinctive of Wesleyan thought, namely, Perfect Love. The only thing we are ever commanded to be perfect in! (Matt 5:48)


Doug
 
G

guest1

Guest
@TibiasDad my conversion experience was an overwhelming concern for others whom I use to hate and found myself loving them and concerned for them . It has never stopped since 1980 until now. Love for others is the hallmark of a believer . I’m visiting family right now but will post more on this topic later. Good op
 
G

guest1

Guest
@TibiasDad I had to put these 5 points together for a family member that needed to hear what Gods love looks like and how the believer is responsible to love others. I had a 3 hour meeting and went over these points with them and the Lord blessed our time together and the situation turned a 180*. All praise and glory to Jesus !

1-Gods unconditional love. How many times do we sin against God and He forgives us our transgressions against Him? Psalm 103:12- He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Isaiah 43:25- I, yes I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake and remembers your sins no more.


2- Love is the #1-character trait of a believer. The fruit of the spirit is Love from which all the fruit of the spirit flows. 1 Corinthians 13:2-7 describes love in action.

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. 3 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.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


3- Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25.There are no conditions Jesus places on His bride. Jesus doesn’t hold her sins and unfaithfulness against her. He covers her sin, forgives and protects her.



4- Loving those who love you is not Gods love that is human love. Jesus said in Luke 6:32-33 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And indeed, if you do good to those doing good to you, what credit is it to you? For even sinners do the same. Luke 6:35- But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

1 John 4:20- If anyone says, "I love God," but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

miseó: to hate

Original Word:
μισέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: miseó
Phonetic Spelling: (mis-eh'-o)
Definition: to hate
Usage: I hate, detest, love less, esteem less. properly, to detest (on a comparative basis); hence, denounce; to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, i.e. to renounce one choice in favor of another.


5- Love covers a multitude of sins, it doesn’t expose sin.

1 Peter 4:8- Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Proverbs 10:12- Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all transgressions.

Proverbs 16:28- A perverse man spreads dissension, and a gossip divides close friends.

Proverbs 17:9- Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
@TibiasDad I had to put these 5 points together for a family member that needed to hear what Gods love looks like and how the believer is responsible to love others. I had a 3 hour meeting and went over these points with them and the Lord blessed our time together and the situation turned a 180*. All praise and glory to Jesus !

1-Gods unconditional love. How many times do we sin against God and He forgives us our transgressions against Him? Psalm 103:12- He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Isaiah 43:25- I, yes I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake and remembers your sins no more.


2- Love is the #1-character trait of a believer. The fruit of the spirit is Love from which all the fruit of the spirit flows. 1 Corinthians 13:2-7 describes love in action.

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. 3 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.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.


3- Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25.There are no conditions Jesus places on His bride. Jesus doesn’t hold her sins and unfaithfulness against her. He covers her sin, forgives and protects her.



4- Loving those who love you is not Gods love that is human love. Jesus said in Luke 6:32-33 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And indeed, if you do good to those doing good to you, what credit is it to you? For even sinners do the same. Luke 6:35- But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

1 John 4:20- If anyone says, "I love God," but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.

miseó: to hate

Original Word:
μισέω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: miseó
Phonetic Spelling: (mis-eh'-o)
Definition: to hate
Usage: I hate, detest, love less, esteem less. properly, to detest (on a comparative basis); hence, denounce; to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, i.e. to renounce one choice in favor of another.


5- Love covers a multitude of sins, it doesn’t expose sin.

1 Peter 4:8- Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Proverbs 10:12- Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all transgressions.

Proverbs 16:28- A perverse man spreads dissension, and a gossip divides close friends.

Proverbs 17:9- Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
Amen!

Doug
 
G

guest1

Guest
I was reading an article on New England Theology in which the theology of Jonathan Edwards was being discussed, and I found the following information regarding what is termed "disinterested love":

"Another major element of Edwards's theology is the concept of disinterested love. Edwards believed that true Christians are disinterested in themselves and completely preoccupied with the beauty of God and his desires, ways and purposes. Their lives are God-centered rather than self-centered.[15] Attainment of this disinterested spirituality was only possible through regeneration and conversion, when the Holy Spirit allowed the individual to see and understand the inherent beauty and excellency of God.[16]

"Such disinterested spirituality was an important part of Edwards's own doctrine of assurance. If one's religious feelings or, in Edwards's language, affections (such as love and desire) are driven by self-interest (such as "God loves me" or "I am saved"), then they are not marks of true religion. In his view, authentic religious affections arise from the soul that is completely preoccupied with God's worth and excellency. In fact, Edwards notes that the truly converted will be so disinterested in themselves that their own salvation will not be their primary concern:

"It has more frequently been so amongst us, that when persons have first had the Gospel ground of relief for lost sinners discovered to them, and have been entertaining their minds with the sweet prospect, they have thought nothing at that time of their being converted. ... There is wrought in them a holy repose of soul in God through Christ, and a secret disposition to fear and love him, and to hope for blessing from him in this way. And yet they have no imagination that they are now converted, it don't so much as come in their minds.[17]


"For Edwards, then, gaining assurance of one's salvation should not be the primary concern of a new convert. He believed assurance would develop as a convert grew in sanctification. The concept of disinterested love also led to an ethic of self-denial. The spread of the gospel and the salvation of people should be a Christian's primary concerns.[18]"

Now, what I, as a Wesleyan Arminian, find interesting, is the similarities of this concept with the Wesleyan doctrine of "perfect love", or what is traditionally termed as " entire sanctification ". There are many similarities, as well as differences:

Similarities:

1) That the believer can and should attain to being "disinterested in themselves and completely preoccupied with the beauty of God and his desires, ways and purposes", in other words, the true believer will demonstrate a consistent lifestyle of God's will being enacted over self-will in an instinctual manner.

2) That this behavior is not natural to man, and is "only possible through regeneration and conversion, when the Holy Spirit allowed the individual to see and understand the inherent beauty and excellency of God.[16]", or by some secondary act of grace by God.

3) And that the effect of this grace changes to focus and motivations of the believer to be outwardly pointed toward concerns for others rather than themselves. (see Phil 2:4) That the "spread of the gospel and the salvation of people should be a Christian's primary concerns.[18]" "


Differences:

1) Edwards sees this as an nearly immediate effect of conversation, and to not have this mark of change means "they are not marks of true religion"! Wesleyan adherents would say that this is a mark of being sanctified wholly, subsequent to true conversion, and having perfect love toward God and loving our neighbor as ourselves!

2) That a true believer does not have any sense of "God loves me", or sense of personal awareness that "I am saved", whereas Wesleyan thought would say that we are definitely aware and concerned with God's love for us, and that we are indeed saved from wrath and sin and death, and that the Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are children of God. (Rom 8:16)



Holiness teaching, properly taught and understood, says that we all should and can "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matt 12: 30-31) And that "...perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love." (1 John 4:18) Both Edwards and Wesley make this an attainable and necessary experience in this life, and that this is the true mark of a believer.

Finally, I must confess that I had not been familiar with the term "disinterested love" before reading this article, but was struck by the way it reminded me of the foundational distinctive of Wesleyan thought, namely, Perfect Love. The only thing we are ever commanded to be perfect in! (Matt 5:48)


Doug
I just reread this a few times and I'm a combo of both of them. I knew from the very beginning there was a drastic change in my life where I experienced Gods love on a personal level and that love overflowed towards others. I struggled with assurance of salvation in the beginning when I sinned but I started studying 1 John and realized all the promises that God guaranteed the believer so I learned to trust Him and His promises and not my feelings. Soon I was walking in faith not by sight and trusting Him in spite of my personal failures.

The whole Christian life boils down to Loving God with our all and if we do that then loving others is the result. Another thing I learned early on was what is a disciple and Jesus call to making disciples. One of the first principles I learned was that if anyone wanted to be one of His disciples they must deny themselves take up their cross and follow Him daily. It was something I learned was to be put into practice every day as He was my Lord, I was no longer in control and I was to submit my will to His will even when it did not make sense. I was to obey Him when the flesh was telling me something else. His Lordship was a very important part of my life early on and it never left me. I am His servant/slave and He is my Master/Lord.

These is the kind of things I enjoy discussing are discipleship, Lordship and what it means to be a follower of Christ and how that effects our day to day life. And Love is the one thing that speaks louder than anything else in out life. The old saying holds true : I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care.
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
I agree they are similar, but I'm not a big fan of this kind of description of sanctification.

It focuses on idealism and measuring progress.
And in what way is this a bad thing? Does not Scripture set the ideal and expected goal of how our lives should look on both a daily basis and on the day of the Lord? Is not the goal of the Lord's work in us to make us conform to the image of his Son? (Rom 8:28-29) Is not the command of all commands to love the Lord your God with all that we are, and our neighbor as ourselves? (Matt 12:30-31) Is this not the ultimate and singular command of our Lord to his disciples? (John 15:12,17, 1 John 2:7-11, 3:11-24, 4:7-21) Does scripture not teach us to be increasingly growing in our exhibition of the fruits of the Spirit and character traits of God? (Gal 5:22-23, 2 Pet 1:3-11) Are we not to test ourselves to measure our being in Christ? (2 Cor 13:5)

The simple answer is yes to all the above! Idealism and measurings are par for the course in a believer's life!





I have tried a lot of ways to be sanctified, and this kind of description just ended up hiding self-effort and self-righteousness for me.
While sanctification is a synergistic effort, God is the only effectual power, for sin is a spiritual matter and only spiritual power can defeat it! Hiding self-righteousness is merely an act of resistance to the Spirit illuminating your pride, which is the work of sanctification, the laying the axe to the root of the tree, the removal of every bitter root of sin.


The things that have produced the greatest sanctification in my life have made me feel the most sinful, because it forces a depth of honesty.
Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted. Matt 5:3

The truth is, with a little effort it's easy to look good and feel like you are focusing on God, but this focus becomes just a love of performing, instead of actually just loving the relationship one has.
Again, if it is, the Spirit will point this out and confront you with it. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)



A focus on being X amount of spiritual or X amount of holy or X amount of selflessly focusing on something else, produced a feeling that I'm progressing and becoming more loving and even controlling my actions to look that way, but underneath it lefts deep things unaddressed.

Real sanctification is messy and exposes terrible depths of sinfulness, while simultaneously taking your whole focus off of how well you are performing at all. You love God with the grace you have, whether it's crappy or whether it's good, and it's about loving God with the grace you have and not trying to reach a peak of selflessness.

One can argue with this, but it is a matter of the heart.

If you don't hear it, you don't hear it.

Peace in Christ.

When we focus on one thing, loving God, seeking God's will in all things, sanctification is not messy! It is only messy when we resist the Spirit. It is not about performance as much as it our pride and submission to his leading, keeping in step with the Spirit. Sanctification cleanses the motives and instincts of the inner man, removing fear and apprehension and replacing them with faith and love, resulting in obedience.


Doug
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
I just reread this a few times and I'm a combo of both of them. I knew from the very beginning there was a drastic change in my life where I experienced Gods love on a personal level and that love overflowed towards others. I struggled with assurance of salvation in the beginning when I sinned but I started studying 1 John and realized all the promises that God guaranteed the believer so I learned to trust Him and His promises and not my feelings. Soon I was walking in faith not by sight and trusting Him in spite of my personal failures.

The whole Christian life boils down to Loving God with our all and if we do that then loving others is the result. Another thing I learned early on was what is a disciple and Jesus call to making disciples. One of the first principles I learned was that if anyone wanted to be one of His disciples they must deny themselves take up their cross and follow Him daily. It was something I learned was to be put into practice every day as He was my Lord, I was no longer in control and I was to submit my will to His will even when it did not make sense. I was to obey Him when the flesh was telling me something else. His Lordship was a very important part of my life early on and it never left me. I am His servant/slave and He is my Master/Lord.

These is the kind of things I enjoy discussing are discipleship, Lordship and what it means to be a follower of Christ and how that effects our day to day life. And Love is the one thing that speaks louder than anything else in out life. The old saying holds true : I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care.

Edwards seems to be saying that a true convert will initially have no thought at all about his being converted or not, but will have plenty of concern for glorifying God. But this seems contrary to experience. My concern was making sure I had been forgiven of my rebellion. My faith that he had done this for me certainly resulted in praise for God, but my joy, at least in the immediate aftermath, was focused on my own state of being saved.

Edwards's description sounds very much like what Wesley taught as being sanctified wholly, which is an experience of grace by faith subsequent to conversion. It seems to me that both of these great preachers and theologians were cognizant of the same principle of truth, that the true Christian will be exampled by their lack of self interests and their innate concern for the needs of others, exhibiting the true image of Christ in their life.

This is all that Wesley ever preached, and if this is what Edwards saw as true as well, then I see no reason for the typical discreditation so often asserted of Wesley's call to Christian holiness!


Doug
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Edwards seems to be saying that ...

What has bothered me about this thread from the beginning is that you seem to be depending on secondary sources for what Edwards allegedly believed. If you're really interested in what Edwards believed, why not read Edwards DIRECTLY?

a true convert will initially have no thought at all about his being converted or not, but will have plenty of concern for glorifying God. But this seems contrary to experience.

It is not the LEAST "contrary to [my] experience".

So why is your experience more significant than mine?

My concern was making sure I had been forgiven of my rebellion.

I care more about God than I care about myself.
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
I think you missed my point if I'm honest.
I don't think I did, but if I'm mistaken, I apologize. It has happened before, and, unfortunately, I am certain it will happen again.

It's super easy to feel sanctified and think you are sanctified and look (to yourself) sanctified, and not be.
I find a couple of difficulties with this line of thought: A) You are projecting something that you can only know about yourself upon other people. You cannot make such a statement without having experienced it yourself, but you cannot possibly know whether I "feel" sanctified or think I am sanctified, much less whether I actually am or not.

B) I've never asserted anything about feeling or thinking I have reached a certain point of experience. I have merely stated that the Edwardsian concept of "Disinterested Love", that true believers are distinguished by their lack of self-interest and their desires for the will and glory of God, is very similar to the Wesleyan precept of Perfect Love. Particularly the fact that this is a real and temporal experience for believers, and that it is demonstrable in our attitudes and behavioral practices.


There are people on this forum who think they are doing really good with the Lord, and they are extremely unloving and prideful people.

I cannot disagree with you on this point. I hope that you and I are not among them!

Sanctification is messy because a lot of our ideas of doing really good spiritually are fake and just mental images of ourselves.
And how do you define the difference between the knockoff versions and the real McCoy?


Tell me a heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked isn't messy.

But the Christian heart is not the unregenerate heart that is " deceitful above all things and desperately wicked"! The Christian heart is one in which "The old has gone, the new is here!" (2 Cor 5:17b)

I'm not here to argue.

If I'm not being heard, I'm not doing anything useful.

God bless your walk with him.

I'm not seeking to pick a fight either, just seeking feedback on a particular thought or point of reference that I had read about! I think I've heard you, and I'm simply expressing my take on what you've said and my genuine concern for your apparent frame of mind toward becoming a true saint in Christ, which is what we are called to be! (Rom 1:7, 1 Cor 1:2)

Thank you for your blessing, may your walk bear the grace and power of our resurrected Lord as well!

Doug
 

TibiasDad

Well-known member
A readiness to admit the bad things about yourself, to admit your lack, your need, your shortcomings, combined with a genuine determined desire to seek God for the truth. People fear this gets into condemnation or negativity, but it has to be the start of honesty and humility.

If one dwells on their lack rather than the supply that is in Christ then it becomes a negative, and non faith bearing status. The gospel message is that we are no longer slaves to sin, that we can live by the Spirit and fulfill all the righteous requirements of the law, that we are no longer obligated to the sinful nature to obey its desires! (Rom 6:16, 8:4, 12)

I know quite well that I am unable, full of lack and shortcomings, but I don't rely on my own strength, I live in his strength. We can look beyond our lack and and live in the positive possibilities of his provision.
I don't think the old man dies so easily.
The old man was crucified with Christ, (Rom 6:6), and we died to sin and cannot live any longer in it. Satan lies about the state of the old nature, and tells us we cannot do anything but what we have always do. The church has bought into that lie, and we are the worst for it! The old man isn't dying, he is dead and no longer in control, unless we give it to him!
I have a problem with the idea of improving or getting better in the sense of going beyond the fundamental of having nothing good in yourself. The getting better is not being better, but allowing more of God's grace to flow through. It seems there is no end of sinful proclivity to sneak in self-righteous feelings that some of the goodness is from me.

We start by having nothing good in us, that is in our sinful nature, but that is before we are saves! If getting better does not equate to being better, then we are not getting better. It is not the sinful nature, but Satan the Accuser that makes you think that some of the goodness is from you! It is a lie!

We cannot do anything without him. Only God, in his triune power, can cleanse from sin and make righteous. No believer would say that he has made himself good or that any goodness is empowered by our own strength.
. I particularly had a problem with this line:

If one's religious feelings or, in Edwards's language, affections (such as love and desire) are driven by self-interest (such as "God loves me" or "I am saved"), then they are not marks of true religion.
As do I!
What if being selfless is actually just admitting I can't do it and letting God love me just like I am without becoming a super saint?

And what if, in a beautiful irony, I start to genuinely and naturally love more the more I feel loved instead of chasing some that just idolizes an idea of perfection over principles of grace?

If nothing I said makes sense.

Just ignore my post.

Peace.
This is not the biblical definition of being selfless. And being selfless is a divine command. "...Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (Matt 16:24), "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." (Phil 2:3-4) "
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature a God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant..." (Phil 2:5-7b) "...love is not self-seeking..." (1 Cor 13:5)
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.." (Rom 12:1-3)

If you "start to genuinely and naturally love more" you are necessarily being selfless, and thus, are achieving the "beautific vision of selflessness", that you deem a chasing of an idealized "idea of perfection over principles of grace." To not strive to be this consistently is to rebellion against the very nature of Christ!


Doug
 
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