Monday, 15 November 2010

Love: Feeling and Action

"Is love a feeling?" I asked my Year 7s this question, and they thought love is a feeling. So I asked, "Is love action?" They also thought love is an action. "Can love be both feeling and action?" Yes, they thought love can be both feeling and action. "Can love be feeling without action?" Yes, they thought love can be feeling without action. "Can love be action without feeling?" Ah, that was a lot harder. I think the majority view was that love cannot be action without the feelings associated with love. Perhaps Jesus thinks otherwise though. His counsel is to love our enemies. I take this to mean that we might have warm feelings toward our enemies, or we might not. But without action we cannot love our enemies. As far as I can tell Jesus did not say we will never (or should not) have enemies, but that we should love them. Like most people I find it easier to love those who love me, especially those for whom I have a warmth in my heart. Like most people, I find it difficult to love someone I am in conflict with, or someone who shows no love toward me, and certainly difficult to love an enemy. But I remember that love is primarily action before it is feeling. I might start with my feelings when I consider someone who I am in conflict with, but I know that it is action that will change the circumstances between us, and action need not be ruled by feelings.


  1. Those we are in conflict with are our best teachers.

  2. And so we should love them.

  3. When one resolves/eradicates bias and prejudices enemies cease to exist.