Cruella wishes she felt more love for people.
She sees the faults in herself and all humanity and she hates those faults.
How do we help Cruella?
Do we browbeat her by insisting that she MUST love people?
Is Cruella able to conjure up this ‘love’ at will?
St Paul makes it clear that just ‘doing good to people’ without that genuine source of Love is worthless.
If Cruella could press a button to make herself more loving, she would press it. But there is no button and being browbeaten may, in itself, be showing a distinct lack of love towards Cruella.
Love is an interesting concept to me. I think there are “feelings” of love that one obtains after the actual loving is done. If we wait to feel love before we actually love, we never will truly love.
Yeshua said, `Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thine understanding-- this is a first and great command; and the second is like to it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; on these–the two commands–all the law and the prophets do hang.’ (Mat 22:37-40)
Yeshua is pointing back to Torah (“the law” - bad English translation), which is also what the prophets did, to tell us what love is. For example, Leviticus says, if your neighbor’s animal gets out and you see it, get it and take it back to him. This is how to love your neighbor. Also, the commandments say, do not covet your neighbor’s possessions or his wife, do not steal from him, do not kill him, etc. I think if we love our neighbor according to Yehovah’s instructions (Torah), we will have feelings of love for him because we are busy looking out for him, being careful to do right by him. It is my opinion that we must know the letter of the law to understand the spirit of it. I have seen very manipulating people, Christians, that use this “love” feeling as a way to move masses of people at will. There is no end of trying to make these people “feel” loved. They use the word offended a lot. An offense should be defined as a sin against someone, which can be reconciled. But, without a definition from Torah, an offense means you hurt their feelings in some way - it is very hard to be reconciled in this type of a situation because there is always some “feeling” someone else is having that may not be a wrong done to them but, a wrong spirit within them. We can not conjure up love but, we can still love, even if our feelings aren’t right yet.
Does Cruella believe the gospel of Christ’s death, resurrection and Lordship, and understand what it entails (i.e., that all people are going to be raised to an immortal and glorious existence where there will be no more pain or sorrow)? If so, I would encourage her to continue believing this truth until the hope that this truth brings begins to purify her (see 1 John 3:3; 1 Pet 1:22-25; cf. vv. 3-4). I would also tell her that I don’t think we are fully saved from our sinfulness until the resurrection. While it is my understanding that those who abide in Christ will begin to more often than not live in selflessness rather than selfishness, there will always be an inclination to love ourselves more than others. And sometimes, the flesh wins.
Hi Kelly. Pleased to meet you. I’ve been enjoying your posts. God bless.
I’m with you on the distinction between feelings and action. I think many imagine that ‘love’ is when we get nice warm feelings which makes US feel good.
If we define love to be desiring and acting towards the welfare of another - then we can talk of more genuine feelings. ie does Cruella feel that she desires the welfare of the other person/people?
If I understand your post, I think you are suggesting that she should act even if she doesn’t feel like she wants the welfare of the other?
I think this is the crux of the issue. St Paul, in 1Cor 13 seems to suggest otherwise.
One danger might be that if Cruella tries to do the other person some good while not genuinely desiring it, she then may ‘snap’ - she may feel even more animosity towards the other.
I think it’s important that we actually DO desire the welfare of the other person (even our enemy) and if we don’t, I don’t think that a lecture on how unloving we are, will solve the issue (I’m not referring to your post which was nothing of the sort).
What do you think?
We must remember that we cannot love without the fruit of the Spirit, Romans 5:5 says, “…God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit…”. We must walk by the Spirit if we are to ever truly love.
Hello, Pilgrim! In meeting, the pleasure is mine. May Yehovah smile upon you!
I understand what you are saying. It is ideal if we can truly feel love. At least at some level of human emotion. I think the answer to the 1 Cor 13 passage is addressed by these verses following what you quoted. Also, I think we can use it as a workable, biblical definition of love.
'The love is long-suffering, it is kind, the love doth not envy, the love doth not vaunt itself, is not puffed up, doth not act unseemly, doth not seek its own things, is not provoked, doth not impute evil, rejoiceth not over the unrighteousness, and rejoiceth with the truth; all things it beareth, all it believeth, all it hopeth, all it endureth.
The love doth never fail . . .”
These passages answer the questions, “What is the love St Paul is speaking of?”, and “How do we show and observe this love?”. These words spoken by Paul are the very things taught in Torah. In verses 4-8, we see a summation of the commandments of Yehovah. The verses emphasize the importance of showing love by what we do. It reminds me of Psa.78,
(Psa 78:1-8). “Give ear, O my people, to my Torah (law), Incline your ear to sayings of my mouth. I open with a simile my mouth, I bring forth hidden things of old, That we have heard and do know, And our fathers have recounted to us. We do not hide from their sons, To a later generation recounting praises of Yehovah, And His strength, and His wonders that He hath done. And He raiseth up a testimony in Jacob, And a law hath placed in Israel, That He commanded our fathers, To make them known to their sons. So that a later generation doth know, Sons who are born, do rise and recount to their sons, And place in God their confidence, And forget not the doings of God, But keep His commands. And they are not like their fathers, A generation apostate and rebellious, A generation! it hath not prepared its heart, Nor stedfast with God is its spirit.”
As we see here, keeping Torah (God’s instructions,“law” doing what is right and true), means to “recount the praises of Yehovah and His strength and His wonders that He has done”, to raise up a testimony, to place our confidence in God and not forget His doings. It means NOT being apostate and rebellious. It means preparing the heart and being steadfast with God in spirit. A summation would be, in keeping Torah, not for salvation, of course but, as a standard of how to love our neighbor, that is truly loving. We may not feel great about it all the time but, our neighbor will. I submit to you that, in obeying God, we will find our purpose and we will be loving and joyful. Like working on some project I may not enjoy or love but, when I have finished it, I rejoice in the results and am then looking forward to the next. As it is written, God has prepared works for us to do. Our work is NOT the works of or for salvation but, still He has prepared works for us, which are to love Yehovah our God with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves - all the law and prophets hang on these two commands.
Again, the importance of looking at the link between love and obedience to God . . .
“Every one who is believing that Jesus is the Christ, of God he hath been begotten, and every one who is loving Him who did beget, doth love also him who is begotten of Him: in this we know that we love the children of God, when we may love God, and His commands may keep; for this is the love of God, that His commands we may keep, and His commands are not burdensome; because every one who is begotten of God doth overcome the world, and this is the victory that did overcome the world–our faith; who is he who is overcoming the world, if not he who is believing that Jesus is the Son of God?”
I think love is an action, not a feeling. I think good feelings come from the action. Can the letter of the law bring love? I think it is possible to understand the spiritual law using it because it is a shadow of it. Like not stealing. If I do steal, it makes me feel bad inside, my heart is not right if I steal from my neighbor, it shows a lack of respect for my neighbor. If I do not steal, it proves my heart is right with my neighbor because the spiritual law is at work in me and it is what comes out of a man that makes him clean or unclean.
I agree with you that lecturing may not be the best approach. I do believe that God blesses our efforts to love, even in a wrong state of mind.
The big question, I suppose is, is Cruella believing that Yeshua is the Messiah of God? If she is, her next step is to follow in His steps. He was perfect according to Torah. Will we be? No., but, we aim for perfection and since this Torah was written on our hearts and minds, it seems logical to me that if we don’t obey it, we go against it, which causes a division of heart and mind. That, IMHO, is where depression, fear, bitterness, etc., comes from. Perhaps, Cruella struggles because she knows she should love but, doesn’t know how. If she knows she can, even if she doesn’t “feel” it, that will help her in her steps to an overflowing joy to love, to feel loving and feel loved without feeling overwhelmed or condemned.
“O the happiness of those perfect in the way, They are walking in the Torah of Yehovah, O the happiness of those keeping His testimonies, With the whole heart they seek Him. Yea, they have not done iniquity, In His ways they have walked.”
I hope that helps clarify my thoughts on Cruella, Pilgrim. I believe relationship with God is based on what we do and who we are becoming, not our theology or feelings. Though there is benefit to discussing both and bringing both in line with truth, theology and feelings are nothing without action coming from a heart being trained by God in righteousness.
I’d say … love is both action and feeling, but we needn’t wait for the feeling to do the action – we should do our best to love without the feeling to help us.
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
We may not be able to love perfectly, but how can we grow in love unless we try?
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
It is by our constant attempt to live by the Spirit that we grow in maturity.
Just to tease this out a bit more … Love is both feeling and action … Ought we to refrain from doing good because our “feelings” aren’t yet perfected? How much should our actions be based on feeling? I say our “feelings” need to be mastered by our will. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak – as are the feelings attached to that flesh.
I find in myself that lack of love is closely related to lack of humility.
Phl 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Or to put that another way … “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Well said, Sonia, else how would it be possible to love our enemies?
If we take this “love view” out of the context of our own fairly comfortable lives and apply it to believer’s who are beaten and killed for faith in Messiah, we must conclude that for them to love the one causing them so much pain and humiliation, they must indeed fight against feelings to actually love, and show love to them. They must love without the feeling of love.
I believe this is what Paul meant when he said he beats his body into submission.
Thank you, Sonia.
To the age to come!
It is true that we love with the love we have received from Christ. If Cruella has not begun to walk with Christ, she needs the gospel, to confess her sin and be reconciled to Him. If she has, she needs to confess that she may be struggling with something (such as selfishness or some such thing) and needs victory to fully love and feel loved. Yeshua has won that victory for her but, she may need begin to walk in it.