Identification

Love – that capacity which enables him to grasp the other human being in his very uniqueness   
 Conscience
– that capacity which empowers him to grasp the meaning of a situation in
its very uniqueness. Both are intuitive capacities. 

The
uniqueness  envisaged by love refers to the unique possibilities the
loved person may have – – – the uniqueness envisaged by conscience
refers to a unique necessity, to a unique need one may have to meet. Vicktor Frankl

Frankl has discovered something very interesting about love. He calls it a capacity or an ability to absorb, finding its fulfillment by tenderly embracing another human being in their very one-of-a-kindness. Frankl goes on to say that this one-of-a-kindness, envisioned by love, refers to the special potentials the loved person may have. We could say then that love always “identifies” with another.

Frankel also mentions the conscience. It, too, owns capacity or hunger for grasping uniqueness, but this time regarding a never-before-happening situation. So, we have love discovering people and conscience discovering events. Important to both remain the particulars. Obviously, we have all met people who do these above functions outside of love and conscience.

Have you ever met a person who can’t wait to know you in detail? Have you ever met anybody who has to know every detail of the situation? Most of us would say, “yes,” and roll our eyes. Nevertheless, and in spite of the possible negatives here, a person in love may really be sincerely interested in what makes another person tic.

To take it a step further, because of love, some people feel happiness, sense of well-being, and feelings of people, as well as their pain, burden, and suffering. These love-motivated folks also seem to be able to assess situations accurately. It is my opinion that a person who loves is also a person with a good conscience.

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he exhorts Tim to “hold faith and a good conscience.” Faith works by love, in Galatians, and all three of the above words come out of the heart. See, “to the pure all things are pure,” Titus 1:15, and this helps evaluations become accurate. But Paul said also to “let your love increase yet more and more in knowledge and discernment.” Philippians 1:9, which speaks of an insight into things and people.
 
Sympathy ( one’s feelings of caring) and empathy (one’s then sharing feelings) most definitely attend these kinds of loving people. Our High Priest, Jesus Christ is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. (Hebrews4). “In all of our affliction He is afflicted,” it says in Isaiah 63:9. Friends, in our ministering, we clean up and cover wounds, and in a sense, facilitate healing. However, we may have to love a person at the point of the lesion, and work out from there. Would you agree?

At around age 40 I had just returned from four years of church-planting attempts and took up cleaning carpets and delivering pizzas for “Papa Johns.” Our sons enrolled in Christian school and that tuition ain’t cheap. A transitional time, it was a challenging time. I started out feeling a bit wounded, remembering the challenges of the last 4 years.
 
Anyway, on my first or second night of Pizza delivery a customer scammed me the cost and tip of 2 pizzas. I will not relay his refined technique (I’m not convinced yet), but it frittered away my whole night’s effort. These kinds of incidents hit the driver’s personal pocket, by rule of the Pizza Company. There was no retrieval.
 
So the picture is this: 40 year old pizza driver, working with 18-25 year old peers, gets conned. He must report to his 23 year old boss who is a girl. A lot embarrassed, and feeling like a needy child, I stumbled into the boss’s office to settle up for the night. I was almost in tears, and the worst part; I desperately needed the money.
 
Well, without so much as a whimper from me, this little 23 year old boss, upon hearing my report, went straight to the cash drawer and pulled out a sum of money which would equal the amount lost and the tip. She handed me the cash. She did not make a scene, she did not scold me, she did not act out of duty or even respect for my age. It was not the policy of Papa “John’s.” I believe to this day, she straightly identified, in sympathy and empathy, with a person grief-oriented and attended to his wound. I held back a gush of tears, knowing God was behind it, her eyesight was restricted. I opened the floodgates later in the car.
 
Lastly, “identification” means; I put myself in the other person’s shoes and do the mile. Without love, the simple acts of compassion and pity and loving interest and care are not present. Precious friends, Christ came, and from the beginning, displayed identifying love; an interest in us and our particular situation, and yes, in detail!
 
So brothers and sisters, do we have a need, then,  can we be honest with ourselves? Do we have a situation, are we hurting or are we overwhelmed with joy? No matter, the lover of our soul is doing with His love, what love does —that is, to share intimately with us and individually in us. Friends, perhaps we sow in tears today; very possible; but if we do, we will reap in joy. Amen! thank you Jesus!

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