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What is Love? 

Ellen White wrote extensively on the matter of love. For your meditation we present the following humble attempt at a summary of her many thoughts on this grand subject.

Love is as broad as the world and as high as heaven; it is calm and deep in its nature. It looks beyond mere externals and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating; its devotion is real and abiding. It is gentle, kind and compassionate. It is the key that opens hearts. Love is precious and it never loses its value. It is diffusive in its nature and quiet in its operation, yet strong and mighty in its purpose.

Love is power. The power of wealth has a tendency to corrupt and destroy; the power of force is strong to do hurt; but the excellence and value of pure love consists in its efficiency to do good, and to do nothing other than good. 

Love should be the ruling principle of all actions. Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful.

Love is characterized by thoughtful kindness and gentle courtesy. It will lead to a constant effort to make another happy, and is in itself the major essential to happiness. The possessor of love cannot but be happy. 

Love extends and diffuses its nature to others. It refines and elevates. It gives love rather than demand it. Love does not work for profit or reward. When love is cherished in the soul it sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around. It imparts to its possessor grace, propriety and comeliness of deportment. Intellectual and moral strength are involved in this principle, and cannot be separated from it.

Love never needlessly exposes the faults of others and will not impute wrong motives or evil intentions to others. Love always places the most favourable construction on the motives and acts of others, and seeks to bring to mind some good qualities of those defamed. Love fills the heart with sorrow at the errors and weaknesses of others. It does not observe little mistakes. It does not listen eagerly to unfavorable reports, for love cannot walk alongside distrust, jealousy, hate and anger.

Love will achieve what argument, persuasion, authority, and severity will never do. It will do more than all the censuring and faultfinding to subdue a hasty temper. It will soften the hardest heart, it will change pride to humility, and it will subdue all enmity. Love modifies the character, governs the impulses, illuminates the countenance, controls the passions, and ennobles the affections. 

Love promotes health, prolongs life and expands the soul.

True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion, nor is it a feeling, an impulse, or an emotion. Love is not selfish. It is never unreasonable. It is never spasmodic in its manifestations. Love is not dependent on circumstances and is not a mere exchange of soft and flattering words.

Love finds expression in looks, words and acts, and has a melting and transforming character. It cannot live without action and exercise, and every act increases, strengthens, and extends it. It is like a fire that cannot be kept alive without fuel. It doesn't just happen, it is cultivated. Love never stops to look back at her kindly deeds, but patiently continues from horizon to horizon in pursuit of the happiness of others.

The service of love constitutes real greatness. It should be cherished and cultivated, for its influence is divine.

Love often matures best amid storm clouds and darkness.

(Adapted From The Writings Of Ellen White) 


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