I recently saw an elderly couple walking through a train station. You knew they were very old, perhaps past their 70s, from their posture. Both were bent over, at about a 60-degree angle to their legs. They were both carrying sizeable bags. And they were both holding on to one of each of the hands of their son who, from the son’s looks, seemed to be nearing his 40s but was suffering from downs syndrome. Now is that love or what?
The other day I saw a family dining at a restaurant. All of them were quiet except for the mother who seemed to be scolding one of the daughters. The reprimanding took a while. Just watching the facial expression of the child who was obviously holding back her tears while she was staring aimlessly into the space in front of her was more than enough to make your heart melt and ask her mother to just let it go. (But it was not my place to do so.) Now is that love?
We often think of love in just the positive sense, of always maintaining smooth interpersonal relationships, of giving in, of not saying no. However, history has shown that a parent who just gives whatever his or her child asks for is only doing that child more harm than good. Even the Good Lord demonstrated that love does not always have to be conveyed in a positive way like in the way he threw out the merchants from His Father’s home or whenever he would scold the Pharisees.
There is nothing as too much love, only the inappropriate expression of it. Even in personal finance, there can be an inappropriate application of love. Investing for children without teaching them to appreciate it by participating in the investment process (e.g. setting aside a portion of their allowance). Over-insuring beneficiaries so that they will not have to lift a finger for the rest of their life after the person insured prematurely moves on to the next life. Borrowing just to give the family the best things that (other people’s) money can buy from expensive tuition fees to high cost vacations. Ransacking savings to enjoy life for the moment for everyone in the family like dining out frequently, and maintaining a high but unsustainable budget for branded clothing.
Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. 1 Corinthians 4-7
Remember that with love, we need to always be thinking about the good of and for others. We don’t always have to be nice. And if need be, we should not hesitate to “punch” others with love.
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(Originally written by Efren Ll. Cruz, RFP at http://www.savingstips.com.ph)
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