Love & Its Opposites

What is the opposite of love?

Think about it for a second.

Hate? Fear? Lust? Something else?

Now, let’s look at some math principles.

If you were to rate love on a vertical timeline, where would you place it?

Considering God is love, it’s gotta be pretty high up there.

Let’s say infinity.

Let’s look on the other end of the number line – the negative scale.

We’ll start with fear. Where does fear rate?

Yes, fear can be pretty powerful, but considering that according to God’s Word, perfect love (rated at infinity) can cast out all fear, love’s gotta be more powerful.

So, we’ve established that fear is less powerful than love, putting it at a lower rating than love.

Same goes for the rest of the suggestions.

Let’s review another math principle: that of opposites.

What’s the opposite of 2? -2.

What’s the opposite of -4? 4.

What’s the opposite of infinity? -infinity.

Is fear at negative infinity? No, therefore it and love are not opposites.

Just think about it. The word opposite denotes the fact that the two valuesΒ are of the same value and power.

Are fear and love at the same level? Absolutely not!

Are they opposites? No.

Repeat the process with everything else and you’ll yield the very same answer: love is not an opposite withΒ anything this world or the devil can come up with.

Love is completely unique. Love cannot share an absolute value with anything. God is love. Love is not just fleeting romance; love is so complex, powerful, and yet so simple that a whole chapter in the Bible was devoted to it.

In fact, not only might you want to examine yourselves about the opposites of love, read I Corinthians 13 and ask yourself if the thing you consider love really is love. We use the word so flippantly, and in so many contexts, like someone saying they love their boy/girlfriend (if this love isn’t a Jesus kind of love and/or doesn’t line up with I Corinthians 13, it’s probably not “true love”) or even ice cream!

Just think about it all throughout your day, and let the Lord speak to you. God bless you!

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25 thoughts on “Love & Its Opposites

  1. Ouch … my head!

    Let’s see if I get the idea. If we were to comprehend love in mathematical terms, we couldn’t really actually come up with a viable opposite. Since the scriptures speak of love as casting out fear, love is evidently more powerful than fear, and at least mathematically it couldn’t then be considered an *opposite*.

    Deeeeeeeeeep.

    God is love, as the scriptures say – a statement that can be subjected to a plethora of nonsensical understandings. To love, as many understand it, is to have affection for someone, or to always try to be nice. A good many people take such shallow definitions and apply them to their concept of God – thus understanding the statement “God is Love” to mean that God cannot ever act in a way that’s not *nice*. And as anyone who has ever made it far into the book of Romans or Isaiah will tell you, that’s just bunk.

    So then, when mathematically considering love, it’s imperative, first of all, that it is defined – and you have indeed done that. *applause*

    You then move on to discussing fear. Scripture speaks of perfect love casting out fear – and it’s axiomatic that fear is not the opposite of love. Once again, you recognize that. *another round of applause*

    So when John is speaking of perfect love casting out fear, what does he mean? How is that point relevant to the context of that verse?

    For sake of brevity, I won’t quote the entire passage here (the passage in question is 1 John 4), but I’ll summarize the Apostle John’s general argument. A prominent theme throughout both the Gospel of John and the Johannite epistles is love: God loved us enough to send his Son to die on our behalf, and if indeed we have tasted of that love, it will manifest itself in our lives in how we love one another. In that sense love is vertical (in that God loved us), and horizontal (in that we share that love with others).

    Yeeaah! See what I did there? ;P

    Let me present an arguably imperfect analogy. Consider a bucket under a tap. As long as the tap is closed, no water comes down into the bucket and fills it. So it is with one who doesn’t know God – he has himself not tasted of God’s love, and that will be evident in the fact that he won’t love those around him. Make no mistake, there are plenty of unbelievers who like to think they love others, and indeed some succeed in being kind and charitable *most* of the time – but that’s not love as scripture defines it. For the believer, however: “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

    The love we have received (the selfless love shown to us in Christ’s death), we will share – just as water that hits the bottom of a bucket will spread out and begin filling the bucket.

    In the immediate context of 1 John 4:18, the Apostle is talking about “vertical” love. The previous verse makes it clear: “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.” God’s perfect love for us gives us every reason not to fear in the day of judgment, for the Son of God lovingly and selflessly bore the punishment for our sin.

    In light of the Gospel, fear is a response to an illusion. It has no objective basis, because our basis for fear was taken away when Jesus died for us. God’s love, on the other hand, is an objective, concrete reality. We have every reason to exult in God’s love. I suppose you could thus consider fear a null set. πŸ˜›

    Now, on to talking about hate …

    It comes down to how you define terms. Let’s consider it horizontally for now. The unregenerate sinner lives in rebellion against God. He may not admit it, but by his rebellion he proves it. Is that not hate? Does not scripture speak of sinners as haters of God? And could hate, then, not be considered as opposite, or at least contrary to love?

    Consider it in terms of darkness and light. Darkness is the absence of light, yet it cannot overcome light, but light rather overcomes darkness. They are opposite, yet not equal in power. Darkness cannot remain when there is light. I believe that God’s love has the power to transform hateful hearts – when the Spirit of God takes the veil away from a person’s heart, the light floods in and the darkness flees – thus love has the ability to overcome hate.

    I think it’s a wee little bit of a stretch to say love and hate aren’t opposites by virtue of love’s uniqueness and power. But I guess it comes down to how you look at it. Anyways, your post got me thinking and going on tangents of my own, which was more than likely what you intended.

    Good thoughts! God bless! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I like how you put it. I just think that love is at such a high level, that hate, simply because it can never reach love’s “absolute value,” cannot be opposites with it. And I love the bucket analogy!! And about the unbeliever doing kind and charitable things most of the time, I think most believers make that mistake, too. Everyone runs around saying love all the time, thereby lowering the standard of God’s love, as you said. Not only that, most believers in today’s society aren’t living out God’s love and sharing Jesus, but falling into the same kind and charitable trap.

      Has your trip been enjoyable?

      God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My trip has been pretty great – I am now enjoying some much-anticipated respite in Salem, Oregon.

        It breaks my heart most when Christians sacrifice truth on the altar of niceness. They claim to love Jesus, but where it counts they’re more than happy to do their best not to offend the world – whether that means offering Jesus to someone purely on the basis of ‘felt needs’, or denying a biblical doctrine because the world hates it (i.e. marriage). That isn’t love, nor is it charity, nor is it even nice – it’s cowardice. Cowardice in the name of love.

        Once again, good thoughts!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Awesome! Never been to Oregon, and the Canadians beat me πŸ™‚ How is it?

          Yes, avoiding offense is one of the church’s gravest mistakes. It seems Christians are most focused on reputation or offense of unbelievers rather than sharing the Gospel and seeing people not go to hell, or even standing up for what God lists as true love in His word.

          Please say hi to the rest of your family for us! I’m starting to miss the dining room table filled with teenagers (plus Jayden, Markelle, and Ezra) discussing dirty dishes and soggy cornflakes… Good times πŸ™‚

          Like

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