Love: Orienting vs Taste

Most of the things we consider when we talk about love find their meaning in individual taste. The higher the love the more grand the taste or lofty it’s qualities. To be clear, this is a great way of looking at love, but perhaps should not be the primary way of looking at love.

What if Love was an orienting faculty? Of course the better question would probably be, what they heck do I mean by ‘orienting faculty’… So, what I am saying is that our tastes come secondary to our orientation in how we understand who and what we are. In other words love defines us in terms of the relationship that we’ve created.

Tastes become secondary primarily because they are individual and not corporate. Individualism in it’s rampant state that seems to seek identity outside of community get’s chipped away at by this notion of love. There cannot be individual identity outside of corporate (embodied or in-community) identity. It is the love of those around us that defines us as who and what we are.

When Jesus teaches in Matthew 22:34-40 that we are called to love God and love our neighbor, we immediately find ourselves seeing not a warm and fuzzy pleasurable feeling when we think about God or neighbor or a taste to enjoy God or our neighbor. No, if we take and orienting aspect as primary with love we see the enjoyment is secondary to finding our identity and purpose within those relationships.


About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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