Friday, June 25, 2010

Revisiting Chicken Love

A long time ago I wrote about Chicken Love.  But at the time, I think three people were reading this blog.  So I want to discuss this principle again because it's the foundation of a lot that we discuss here.

Chicken Love.  A mom says to her child that she loves him.  Now, she doesn't discipline the child and he's a hellion.  She let's him have a bunch of sweets and sugar drinks.  He rules the roost, but no problem-- she "loves" him.  Now he grows and gets into drugs, smoking dope in his room, hanging with the wrong crowd... but it's okay because she "loves" him... even "loves" him too much.

Clearly, I'm not believing that she "loves" him.  To understand Chicken Love, let's define real Love: Seeking the others highest good and purpose in God.  Is she doing this?  No.  So when she says she "loves" him, what's she really saying?

I love chicken.  Grilled, baked or fried, chicken is delicious-- I love it.  Am I seeking chicken's highest good?  No way.  When I say I love chicken, what I'm really saying is I love the way it tastes-- the WAY IT MAKES ME FEEL.

Let's takes another example.  19 year old boy "loves" his 18 year old girlfriend.  He convinces her to go all the way, saying "I love you baby" in the process.  Chicken Love.  He'll devour and then want more to feed his selfish body.  Is this any different from the long suffering mother?  No.  If she truly loved her son, she'd kick him out and quit rescuing him-- hoping that he'll come around because she's not protecting him from natural consequences.

I think real love is rare in this consumer driven society.  I know that I all too often practice Chicken Love instead of Real Love.  Chicken Love is the love of the Narcissist, and it has to die.  Daily.

I'll say it again, because if it becomes a mantra for you, that's not all bad: Love is seeking the other's highest good.  It might not look all warm and fuzzy.  It might appear harsh at times.

Jesus is a great example of real Love.  When the rich young ruler wanted validation of his own righteousness, Jesus gave him a choice to lose the thing that was keeping him from a real relationship with God.  Then Jesus let him walk when he chose poorly.  He didn't slober over himself, saying "you know what, come as you are!"

Then there's the gentile woman with the demon possessed child.  She become obnoxious in trying to get Jesus's attention.  But Jesus knew that she needed to press through.  So he insulted her... called her a dog.  But she chose wisely and pressed on.  Jesus pointed to her as a great example of faith.

So love can mean insulting the other-- if it's seeking their highest good.  Love can mean letting a person walk towards destruction (rich young ruler) if it means seeking their highest good.  So sometimes, letting a child, or friend stay in the pokey and not bailing them out can be following in Jesus's footsteps. 

The question I ask myself is: what is their highest good and purpose in God?  It's okay to let this be a mantra.

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