FOLLOWING ‘FOUR DIMENSIONS OF LOVE’ GAINS GOD’S GUIDANCE: BLUFFTON SPEAKER
God will guide us in what to do with our lives, Deborah Horst told a Bluffton University audience Feb. 14, if we can learn to follow what she called "four dimensions of love."
Horst, who earned her master of divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2010, spelled out the four dimensions during a Bluffton Forum, part of Spiritual Life Week on campus.
The Dalton, Ohio, resident and former executive director of nearby Camp Luz explained that coming into community with the Trinity and into a special relationship with God is the first of the four dimensions. Sin and disobedience can "keep us on a crumbling, cracked foundation of shame," she noted, but "that’s where God meets us."
In his grace, she continued, God "relays a new foundation of shalom" on which we can find the second dimension: love of self. Stressing that "love of self and love of God cannot be separated," she also defined "shalom" as "totality or completeness, wholeness, community, harmony and security," working together to create spiritual love.
As part of the Greatest Commandment, Jesus said to "love your neighbor as yourself." In the third dimension of love, Horst challenged her listeners to "look at and guess other people’s needs" instead of fixating on ‘me’ because "once we step into a relationship with God, the focus turns outward."
"Love is risky," she said, but love of God, self and others work in unison to create the fourth dimension of love. "God is the center of love," so love all of his creation and worship him, she advised.
Posing the challenging question, "What is God’s will for my life?" Horst acknowledged that she is among those anticipating an answer, as she waits on God to call her to her next mission in life.
Alexandria Ferland, Bluffton public relations, 2/17/12