Tag: 1 John 4:8

Learning as a Choice

Will Rogers said, “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.” That would be the how of learning.

I am very fortunate to have a smart husband. I learn a lot from him. When I attended a class he taught in Poland on how adults learn, his definition included the results of learning: a change of behavior as a result of experience.

Many schoolchildren learn because it is a requirement. The goal is to know the material well enough to pass the test and move on. In that environment, because some subjects are not particularly interesting to the student, the information may be lost after the testing is over. Usually the subjects that the student chooses are the ones that are retained and built upon.

An adult, more often than not, learns because he wants to. When a person is motivated to learn, he will do much more than what is required. He will research on his own and study often in order to increase his knowledge.

As a flight instructor, my husband gave an illustration about those who want to learn to fly. The closer in time the lessons are, the faster the learning. In other words, it is best to fly once or twice a week rather than once a month. The frequency helps set in place the things that have been learned, making it easier to build upon the next principle.

Experiential learning is much better than knowledge of theory of a subject. When you put into practice things you have learned, they become part of you. It is more than temporary knowledge. It is true learning.

Many people know things about God. Some have even gone to religious schools or passed catechism classes. However, some are like the demons who believe that there is one God and shudder. Knowing about God does not mean that someone has experienced His love, truly knowing Him.

Only those who want to experience a relationship with God really do know Him. The test of that knowledge is whether or not God’s love, received through His Son Jesus Christ, resides within you.

DSC06561Those who truly know Him will want to spend time with Him. Just as student pilots retain their desired information better when they fly more often, believers grow in the Lord by spending frequent time with Him – learning from His Word and His nature. Christians are different because of Jesus. Experiencing His love changes their behavior.

”You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me: and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves” (John 5:39-42). The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love… We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:8, 19 NASB).

A Love That Lasts Forever

Right after Whitney Houston’s death on February 11, 2012, I Will Always Love You could be heard on practically every news program. Like most everyone else, I was watching and listening.

395px-Whitney_Houston_Welcome_Heroes_2Written in 1973 and released as a single in 1974, Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You was a hit. When Whitney sang her version of it in the movie The Bodyguard, it became known as her “signature song.”

When Whitney released her single of I Will Always Love You, it was a success all over the world. Although she had eleven number one hits I Will Always Love You was the longest running.

That song, as well as many other love songs, reveals a deep desire we all have to be loved. We not only want to be loved, we want to know our loved ones will love us forever. Many holidays – Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. – were put in place so that we could express our love for others. Card companies, florists, jewelers and other businesses flourish because people want to say, “I love you,” in a tangible way to their special people.

People who love each other show love in many meaningful ways. Presence makes a bigger statement than presents do. Caring enough to spend time with another is often what the loved one needs most. It is not always possible to be with your loved ones. That’s what makes family reunions so sweet.

Of course, not everyone is so fortunate.

For some always doesn’t mean forever. What felt like always at the beginning of a relationship may degenerate into not any more after the passing of time. The pain that comes from rejection in a relationship is all too well known. News reports are filled with stories of those in the public eye -politicians, movie stars, sports figures, etc. – who have severed relationships. The tabloids make fortunes out of their distorted versions of these stories.

For a Christian, there is no question about the definition of always. It has a stronger meaning than is even possible with a human relationship. For a child of God, always means “everlasting,” literally lasting forever. God’s love never changes. That’s who He is.

“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” (Jeremiah 31:3). He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).