Buechner on Four Loves

Not quite the same as C.S. Lewis’ Four Loves, here is Frederick Buechner summarizing four different kinds of love. Note the relationship of the world to each kind.

The love for equals is a human thing–of friend for friend, brother for brother. It is to love what is loving and lovely. The world smiles.
The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing–the love for those who suffer, for those who are poor, the sick, the failures, the unlovely. This is compassion, and it touches the heart of the world.
The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing–to love those who succeed where we fail, to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice, the love of the poor for the rich, of the black man for the white man. The world is always bewildered by its saints.
And then there is the love for the enemy–love for the one who does not love you but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain. The tortured’s love for the torturer. This is God’s love. It conquers the world.


4 thoughts on “Buechner on Four Loves

  1. I feel the first one is the basic joy we all recieve from our relationships and what we naturally seek.

    I feel the second one comes easy to most people.

    The third is more difficult but we as people do have admiration for those who succeed and people seem to be willing to forgive these supperstars who have made such huge mistakes.

    To love one who does not love you or show the love in return in my opinion is the truest form of love. I also believe that is how you know you truely love some one or maybe that means your a stalker…hahaha. I have met people and seen people that feel sorry for those that mock, threaten, and inflict pain but I am not sure I have seen them love them. Maybe they can forgive them and I have seen that and maybe that is love. I do not think I am that strong of a person. All the more reason to love the Lord for his compassion I guess.

    • Yes, indeed!
      I don’t think any of us is that strong of a person. That is why we need His strength. The Holy Spirit dwells in believers and gives us the power to do superhuman feats–not like lifting cars and buses, but even more amazing things like loving our enemies, doing good to those who hate us, blessing those who curse us, and praying for those who mistreat us.

      Speaking of strength, I was listening to John MacArthur, Jr. last night and heard this:
      Nobody is too weak to be used by God. But many people are too strong. So God is in the business of breaking people’s strength.

      This is what the apostle Paul discovered (II Cor. 12:9).

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