One of the most profound declarations, a declaration that, perhaps puzzles many faithful Christians and non-Christians searching for answers to evil that is present in this world, is the declaration, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by Apostle Paul that:
Love Never Fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).
The essence of the puzzle? Reality of evil in this world, reality of suffering in this world, reality of resistance to love appears to suggest that:
Love indeed does Fail.
When a man loves his wife, and yet she is not satisfied, it would seem that love has failed. When a woman loves her husband, and there is something in him that is restless, something that seeks to be free, it appears love has failed.
When a country loves a businessman with a shaky history, shaky reputation, and entertainment persona, provides him with a trust to lead the country in the right direction, and the businessman chooses to rule primarily for his personal and factional interests, it would seem that love has failed.
When a parent loves a child, and the child, regardless, chooses a life of evil, it appears love has failed. When an adult child loves a parent who has not parented well, and the parent, out of pride, refuses to concede past imperfections, it would seem that love has failed.
When businesses generating 20% gross returns for investors, with half of such returns constituting an economic return over cost of funds, refuse to pay a living wage to the lowest paid full time worker, it appears love has failed.
When a Church reaches out to people, and they accept help of the Church, but reject the Savior that they preach, it would seem that love has failed.
The evidence in the world appears to be inconsistent with the assertion that ‘Love Never Fails’.
Spirituality that is not pragmatic, that is not practical, that does not respond to realities of life on this earth is worthless, saltless, lightless, good-for-nothing, ‘good only for throwing out’ spirituality.
If faith in Jesus Christ is not this sort of non-pragmatic spirituality, there must exist some deeper spiritual meaning to the assertion that Love Never Fails, else we run into a philosophical wall that raises questions about rationality of faith in Jesus Christ.
While faith always must have some metaphysical element to it, else it ceases to be faith, there simultaneously exists demand for rationality of principles that are demonstrated in context of said faith.
So then, in presence of real world evidence for seeming failure of love, is it possible that there exists some rationalizing explanation for the assertion, by one of the foremost apostles of Jesus Christ that, ‘Love Never Fails’?
Thankfully, there does exist a rationalizing explanation for the assertion that ‘Love Never Fails’, a rationalization that simultaneously is consistent with reality of seeming failures of love in today’s world. As we shall see, this rationalizing explanation is the only characterization of Love, which passes a philosophical test of rationality.
In Christian Philosophy, the goal of the Love that God has demonstrated for us in His Son Jesus Christ is: Peaceful coexistence of life on earth; Peace in man’s relations with God; and Capacity for maintenance of peacefulness in context of challenging circumstances of life.
For concreteness, I provide five Scriptures (words in brackets mine in spirit of an amplified reading).
“For He Himself (Jesus Christ) is our peace…(Ephesians 2:14)”
Having been declared righteous, then, by faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).
Now may the Lord of Peace Himself (Jesus Christ) give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding (Romans 14:19).
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (Romans 12:18).
When people love one another, it is obvious that peacefulness of coexistence is created; it is obvious that love does not fail. We see then that if those who have faith in Christ, and those who do not have faith in Christ all exhibit love towards one another, that we arrive at peacefulness of coexistence, with outcome, Love Does Not Fail.
If all choose to love, it is a truism that ‘Love Does Not Fail’ to produce Peacefulness of Coexistence of Life on Earth.
As already illustrated, whenever one party loves, but the other does not respond to said love, we arrive at what seems to be a snafu, which is, love is rejected, with outcome it appears love has failed.
But is it true that Rejection of Love translates into ‘Love has Failed’?
Consider the scenario in which a woman has loved a man as best she could, yet the man is restless, chooses to opt out of their marriage. It is a truism that her love has not won her husband over, that her love has been rejected, that her love seemingly has failed.
Seeming failure of her love is predicated, however, on the assumption that her husband had, of necessity, to respond to her love. But if her husband has, of necessity, to respond to her love, her husband no longer is conferred with that most important of gifts to man from God, namely, power of choice.
We arrive then at a philosophical conundrum, which is, if Rejection of Love is translated to imply Failure of Love, in order for love not to fail, all targets of love would have to give up their power of choice, always must accept love that is proffered from another.
Suppose then that whenever it is rejected, that we deem love to have failed. Suppose also the assumption that Love never Fails. Within context of these two assumptions, if a girl walks into a bar, and falls in love with some handsome dude who is not attracted to her, regardless of his misgivings, in order for the girl’s love not to fail, this handsome dude will have to accept the love, will have to leave the bar with a new girlfriend in tow.
Immediately, we again arrive at the inference that a deeming of Rejection of Love to be tantamount to Failure of Love leads to the contradiction that Love implies absence of capacity for choice.
The assertion that ‘Love that is Rejected’ is ‘Love that has Failed’ is an assertion that does not pass the test of philosophical rationality.
Absent presence of power of choice, any and every philosophical postulation is useless, non-pragmatic, lacking in merit.
We arrive then at a profound realization, which is, regardless whether it is your Love, or the Love of God, success of love cannot be predicated on guaranteed acceptance of love, for guaranteed acceptance of love means we all are robots, means we all have to accept any and every love that is offered to us by another.
Imagine then the scramble in High School for the most handsome boy and prettiest girl. Just how many kids will die in High School every year in context of such a stampede? Is High School not already tough enough as it is?
In presence of the foregoing, clearly, Success of Love cannot be predicated on acceptance, with outcome we find ourselves in search of a new metric for ascertaining Success of Love.
Well then, let us return to the Christian notion that the goal of love is peacefulness of life on earth. Let us also return to the scenario within which a woman has loved a man to the best of her ability, but yet, he is restless, chooses to leave their marriage.
Suppose this woman looks herself in the eye, and honestly arrives at the inference that she has loved her soon to be ex-husband to the best of her ability. Suppose she comes to terms with his choice, and with full cognizance of the truism that love means she wishes him well, else her honesty is self deluded, arrives at peace in her mind, and peacefulness in relations with her ex-husband. What then do we have? We have a man and woman who used to be married, continuing to live at peace with one another, continuing to wish one another well in their future endeavors. We arrive at peacefulness of coexistence, and in context of Christian Philosophy, the love of the woman has not failed, actually has succeeded.
When success of love is predicated on love that does not, in presence of rejection, devolve into hatred, it is a truism that Love Never Fails, for Love always produces peacefulness of coexistence.
We arrive then at profundity that is essence of Love Never Fails. Arrive at philosophical genius of each of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Apostle Paul, for absent characterization of Success of Love as love that, in presence of rejection produces peacefulness, and in presence of acceptance produces relationship and peacefulness, with outcome peacefulness is commonality of Love, Love becomes a self contradictory concept, a concept that devolves into irrationality that is evident in abdication of power of choice on a grand societal scale.
Love truly is Love only if in presence of rejection it accepts power of choice of it’s target, as such chooses to live at peace with choice made by another. Clearly, Love that attempts to violate another’s power of choice inherently is self contradictory.
Accepted or Rejected, commonality of Love that passes the test of rationality is ‘Peacefulness of Coexistence’.
Love that is accepted adds ‘relationship’ to peacefulness of coexistence.
Consider then illustrations of seeming failures of love that I enumerate at commencement of this post. If, regardless of her rejection of his love, a man who loves his wife maintains his love post divorce, he and his ex-wife live at peace with one another, and fabric of peace that had subsisted in society in context of their marriage remains intact.
When Love is Rational, when the focus of Love is Peaceful Coexistence, Divorce does not destroy fabric of peacefulness that previously had subsisted in society.
Divorce destroys peacefulness of coexistence, only because Love ceases, transforms into hatred. But it is not then Love that is the problem; rather, it is absence of maintenance of Love.
When a parent continues to love his or her child, this irrespective of his or her behavior, not in sense of validation of behavior, but in sense of willingness to help arrive at a better path, at better outcomes, the behavior of the child does not induce strife, and peacefulness is maintained between parent and child. But if the parent sees the child’s behavior as his or her failure, as such attempts to control the situation or behavior, there is a switch from attempts at loving another, to attempts at controlling another, with outcome there is arrival at loss of peacefulness between parent and child.
If parents refuse to take responsibility for character of their adult children, if they focus on being there, on provision of any help that is in their power, if they choose not to be judgmental, rather provide advice, and focus on provision of love that is within their power, peacefulness of the parent-child relationship is maintained.
When a Church’s help with food, clothing, shelter etc. is accepted, but it’s good news of Jesus Christ is not, when the Church, regardless continues to love, peacefulness of relations is maintained. When the Church attempts to coerce those whom it helps into faith in Jesus Christ, peacefulness of relations is damaged, help is grudgingly accepted, and faith that is demonstrated can be faked, can be no more than pretense necessary for obtaining help that is needed.
But what good is faith that is faked? Is it not much better for the Church to rest in the promise from the Lord Jesus that it will be rewarded for every good work that is done, for which it does not receive anything in return? Is the Church not better off obeying it’s Lord and Savior, as such offering it’s help without any strings attached, with outcome any faith that is arrived at is genuine and lasting?
Does this then imply that the Church should not take advantage of context of help that is provided to society for sharing of the good news of Jesus Christ? Clearly Not. The willingness to help confers opportunity for sharing why it is they have the heart to help, which is, their faith in Jesus Christ. It is reprehensible for those who receive help from the Church to demand or expect that the Church not make any attempt whatsoever to share it’s good news of Jesus Christ.
All Jesus expects is that the Church not make those in need of it’s help feel the help will continue only if they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Faith in Jesus Christ is a pragmatic, salted, lighted, perfect-sighted system of spirituality for living of life on earth. This is evident in profundity of the understanding that if Love is not to be inherently self contradictory, it of necessity never fails, for accepted or rejected, it produces peacefulness of coexistence in affairs of life.
The real failure of love on earth is the reality that people claim to love, yet refuse to allow targets of their love power of choice. But this is not failure of love, for love that does not allow for power of choice cannot, in reality, be characterized as love, rather is attempt at Control of another.
You see then that Jesus and His Apostle Paul proffer a profoundly unique postulation, which is, problems of suffering in the world are not outcomes of rejection of love, rather are outcomes of attempts at passing off of desire for control of others as love, for it is hatred, or transformation of Love that is Rejected into Hatred that produces sufferings in this world.
Professed Love that does not allow for Power of Choice is Attempt at Control of Others, Masquerading as Love.
The philosophy that is embodied by faith in Jesus Christ — faith that is rooted in love for God, and demonstration of love for fellow men — is a robust, pragmatic philosophy for living of life on earth the way it ought to be lived.
If we all complain that life on earth is not as it ought to be, but everyone waits for his or her neighbor to be the first person to choose to live right, we all end up in a world that never will function right.
The decision to wait to choose love, this only consequent on choice of love by others is, in of itself, attempt by everyone at controlling everyone else.
If we want life to function right, we each, individually must be willing to take the first step towards building faith on love and wisdom for arrival at peacefulness of coexistence of life on earth.
If our love is accepted, with outcome we are able to add relationship to peacefulness of coexistence, we rejoice in our good fortune.