Getting vs. Being

Yet another beautifully-written, deceptively pointed paragraph from Eugene Peterson:

“[The word “love”] has been so relentlessly eroticized that even when it is used with the best of intentions and a pure heart, it says the exact opposite of what it means.  Here is one of our very best words, redolent with all the operations of the Trinity, comprehensive with its implications for every man and woman on earth, fundamental in its practice of resurrection – trashed.  The eroticization of love empties it of everything except genitals and lust, reduces the person who loves and the person loved to consumers of ecstasy.  And as with any life dominated by getting some thing, it finally incapacitates him or her from being some one.  The more a person gets, the less he or she is.  ‘Love,’ the best and most complex relational word we have, is abused in such a way that it turns people into objects to be used.  The word itself is ruined, and the more we use it the more it ruins us and others.  Words matter: words kill and words give life.  Which will it be for ‘love’?”

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