Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Love is an Action

AFTER MUCH DISCUSSION of the topic, a conclusion was reached.  The following is from a good friend (and fellow New Yorker) of mine, Ashlie, who (for once) was able to find common ground on a topic of discussion with me. Enjoy!

“Love is an action, not a feeling.”

For once, I am not too proud to admit that this statement, by Jacob at quite a pivotal moment, shook me.   This is not what Walt Disney taught me.  So I decided to find out where this idea came from and why I wasn’t familiar with it.

After a quick Google search, I found that M. Scott Peck, an American psychiatrist and author said:

“Love is not a feeling.  Love is an action, an activity … Genuine love implies commitment and the exercise of wisdom … love as the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… True love is an act of will that often transcends ephemeral feelings of love cathexis.  It is correct to say, ‘Love is as love does.’”

Looking through the rest of my search queries, I found this idea is cited from the Bible.  This helps explain why I wasn’t familiar with it. 

I read:

"Charity (love) suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth."

This finding reminded me of another little poem I recognized, a translation of this Bible passage.

“Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous, love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end.”

I guess I never understood, up until now.  To me, the above phrase describes that love is… a wonderful thing.  I explained my point-of-view to Jacob.  He replied, “Charity!  Self-less giving!  How is that not love as an action?”

Yes, Jacob.  You are right.  Love is an action.



Jeremy said...

Wow, nice... you inspired me...


Ashlie said...


I have now seen the blog. I love it! Now, get writing your own blogs, so I have something new to read more often.

Also, I wouldn't want to change a thing about this post.

But I contest the idea that love is the only thing we agree about. ...We also have similar views on marriage...

In fact, you have told me yourself that we actually agree on many things, but the trivial things we play up because it is more fun to argue.

Anonymous said...

Also look at it this way...we love god in our small little ways because of the great love that he loved us. How do we know that he loved us? He created us, placed in us, on purpose, every tiny aspect of our personalities. He delights in me that I can't stop smiling when I'm happy, adores the fact that I constantly forget where I parked or how to travel to get somewhere i've gone to 50 times, and is thrilled with my silence when I'm content or at peace.

He loves us more completely than our lovers, our husbands and wives, our friends, parents, or siblings. He loves us to the point that we can smack him in the face or spit on him, and we do, every day, and even one small hint that we want him back and he rushes to us. It's almost pitiable really. The creator of all things, in power and might, is often humbled by his love for us, who don't deserve it. But such is his love.

We know his love and feel it through his actions towards us. First his creation of us, his sculpting of our persons with love and attention...second his willingness to forgive, even the most heinous acts that we can perpetrate on him, he'll forgive with just a hint that we're sorry and want to get back to him. And finally with his ultimate love he limited his limitless power in the form of his creation and died for us in torture, agony, and humiliation just so that we can be closer to him in the end.

But all of these things are actions. What would we have gained if God had loved us with happy-fuzzy feelings and left it at that? What would the world be like today, without his actions? What would my life be like? I shudder to think about it. But loving is DOING, it is giving of onesself for the other, thinking of the other before thinking of, dieing, sacrificing for the other, so that he/she may be happy. I hope we can all learn to love as he loved, even in our small little ways.


P.S. Miss your giant head Jake, and stromboli with you and moose in rutgers :D

Anonymous said...

Veronique said...

I'm from the other side of the world. When googling the keywords "love in an action", i found your post.

I found my ex-bf cheated on me weeks ago. he treated me really badly when he was dating another girl and didn't let me know the truth. he put all the blames on me in our relationship during that time. I was desperate to find ways to solve problems in the relationship.

However, after i found the truth(dramatically), he said she is "the one" of his, then i finally decide to set myself free.

last week, he sent me an email saying that they were over, he said he still loves me, he can still say "I love you" in front of me. he thought of me every hour when he was with her. he was torn between 2 lovers during that time.

I feel confused. Actually, I agree with you on this idea of love is an action. I believe love is not just a feeling. It also requires action to care for the ones you love, to take the responsibility for every relationship. Love is not just a slogan .

However, if love is an action, how could he treated me so badly?

Maybe, for him, he never really loves anyone except himself. This might be able to explain the idea of “love is an action".

Jake said...


The words are the easy part, wouldn't you say? I'd be wary of anyone whose words come so easily. I wish you the best Veronique, seems like a tough spot you are in.

Veronique said...

indeed, love is such a easy word to say for some people. it's tough, but I'll keep having faith in myself, in my ability to love again