Call it what it is.

Last week was Valentine’s Day, even in Poland.  This holiday, if you can call it that, continues to spread around the world.  You might have detected, I have a concern.

It seemed like nearly everything from popup windows on my computer browser, store decorations, to billboards were selling the day of “love” – or were they?  It seemed to me they were all selling lust.

Ok, so I am trying to make a point.  Lust is a strong word and may not best define what is being sold on Valentine’s Day.  Romantic love may be more accurate, but since most couples (I don’t have data to support this statement) who celebrated Valentine’s Day were not married, this may make my point.

Valentine’s Day is focusing on only one way we use the word love.  Sadly, I believe, the word love has lost nearly all of its true value as it is used too unintentionally.  I can love bicycles (which is almost true), certain types of food, clothes, animals, and just about anything.  I can also love my wife, my family, and my friends.  So in the end I describe my relationship with bicycles the same way as I do my wife?  Do I truly love them both?

I am no Greek language scholar and I don’t want to bog-down this blog, but I have grown to appreciate that there were four words at the time of the Bible we too often translate as love.  In the Bible the word nearly always translated love is – agape.  This is the truest definition of love.

I suggest using Biblehub.org to assist your deeper research into the four words for love.

Briefly, one word for love describes the bond between family members.  A second is used between true friends.  The third is “Valentine’s Day” love which is a perfectly wonderful word to describe the exclusive relationship between people in a romantic relationship.  The “type” of love nearly always described in the Bible is the one modeled by God.  (I turn it over to you to research the love God modeled for us, agape.)

What is my point in the blog?  I am glad you asked.

Valentine’s Day is not a day to celebrate love.  It is a day to celebrate the wonderful and amazing relationship God has created between one man and one woman.  It is a day to celebrate romance and the “gushy” feelings we have for either the person we are considering as our life-long spouse, or is our life-long spouse.   It is also a day to enjoy the incredible union God designed for a married couple, but this is not the greatest form of love because it has another name.

Valentine’s Day is the day of: physical attraction, romance, and only in marriage physical intimacy.  True LOVE is much greater than all of these combined.  God modeled this love by sending His beloved Son to be the Savior of all mankind.

The greatest form of love is not received, it is given!

BTY, true love is a vital part of a Godly and growing relationship between one man and one woman and it is to be given sacrificially to the other every single day.

The Curse of конечно.

The curse of конечно – conyeshna (pronounced: con – yesh – na, where the yesh is yes with a sh at the end.)

I want to explain this phrase that God put on my heart about 10 years ago.  I don’t remember exactly how it started, but God continues to use it in my life and I hope you will let Him use it in yours as well.

Have you ever noticed how we often assume things when we are talking?  For example.  Who is the most important person in your life?

My wife and children come to mind first, how about you?  My son and daughter-in-law are also important.  But my granddaughter is the most important person in my life.  Oops, that’s not right.  Denise, yea, she is the most important person in my life.  (That was purposeful and to be a joke.  FYI)

Is the first person that came to your mind truly the most important person, are they really?

Was your first answer Jesus?  Isn’t He the most important person in your life?  Did you “assume” that I was meaning the most important being someone here on earth?  I am assuming, a second example of assuming, that you are a Christian and that you have accepted God’s grace.  When was the last time you really felt the weight of your eternal demise until God revealed to you His redemption at the cost of His beloved Son?

Now, how would you answer the original question?  Oh, well, OF COURSE Jesus is the most important person.  He is my Savior and my Lord.  Of course I meant that Jesus is the most important person in my life.

Conyeshna  is the Russian word in Latin characters meaning – of course.

Recently I shared a message about the sheep and the goats out of Matthew 25.  Verse 41 records that Jesus taught the goats are those “who are cursed”.  What does it mean that someone is cursed?  Let’s explore the answer generally and not specifically in context of Matthew 25.

If there were such things as magic spell and curses?  What do all the good people desire to happen to a curse?  In all the fairy tails the curses require someone to come along with the ability to “break” it.

Therefore, the “curse of the conyeshna” is the curse of of course.  It sounds so much better to me in Russian.  Here is the same idea in Polish – the curse of oczywiście.  This to me is also way cooler than in English, but that is not so much here-nor-there.

The curse of of course reminds me that I need help from The One who can break my tendency to leave out the most important.  He is teaching me how to get better at my first thoughts and statements to be the overlooked, the sometimes assumed, or worse the too often forgotten.  This phrase reminds me to search for the best answer instead of just what comes to mind.

I believe the greatest lesson I am learning, out of many, because of seeking to apply the curse of conyeshna at all times is to be reminded of who is the King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16).  Keeping in mind that He is my Lord and King reminds me that I am His bond-servant (Romans 1:1) like Paul.  The result is learning to live more intentionally and faithfully to seeking and obeying God’s will.

This is just the tip-of-the-iceberg regarding this subject for me.  The application of this principle is changing how I talk, what I believe, how I study God’s word, and everything else.  But that is for another blog.

I encourage you to let Jesus, the only one who can, break the curse of conyeshna by His teaching you every day as His disciple through prayer, His word, and the Holy Spirit.