Love in reality – a choice

By Dave Henning / November 14, 2023

“When the feeling of love fails us in the night, let us choose to love in reality.  Not by repainting the other as perfect.  Not by loving so that they will change their mind.  But by following Jesus’ very clear example: ‘We love because he first loved us.’ “- Alicia Britt Chole

“A new command I give you: love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”- John 13:34 (NIV)

In Chapter 50 (“From Above”) of The Night is Normal, Alicia Britt Chole stresses the need to love in reality.

10.  When disillusioned with God’s people, love in reality.  Here we possess the opportunity to love other Christians for who they really are.  As opposed to who we thought they were.  Or who, in our opinion, they should be.  Therefore, John 13:34 calls us to follow Jesus’ example in the face of reality.

Hence, Dr. Chole explains the difference between love as feeling and love as a choice.  The author states:

“Many of us instinctively look to our emotions to confirm whether or not we are loving.  But surely, Jesus, in His teachings and His example, was referencing not the feeling of love but the choice to love.  When we think of love as more of a feeling than a choice, it is virtually impossible to love in reality. . . .  Even . . . when the feeling of love is lagging way, way behind our choice to love — though uncomfortable, it is sustainable.”

11.  When disillusioned with God’s people, notice if your shield starts slipping.  Moving on to Chapter 51 (Forty-four Chapters Past Bail”), Dr. Chole strongly cautions against treating trust as a synonym for love.  Above all, you can love or trust without engaging in the other.

Consequently, Dr. Chole takes a look at David and King Saul.  Certainly, like David, we hope our “Saul” gets better.  In addition, we pray for “Saul’s” deliverance.  However, at times we must hope and pray from a distance.  Thus, the choice to love carried David through his nights of disillusionment.

Today’s question: What most helps you make the choice to love in reality?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The Man in the middle – Jesus”

About the author

Dave Henning

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