Maintaining our idea that psychology is the study of what we do and why we do it, we turn attention to the what-we-do. And, we find the why-we-do-it staring us in the face.
“Love God with All. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” What we do is
God so loved that He gave. God so loved that He redeemed what He intended. God so loved that all His expectations and anticipations for All were summed up in Christ so Christ could bring them to fullness and fulfillment.
When Christ applies the power of His Cross, the Life of His Resurrection, the Authority of His Ascension, and the Restoration of His Involvement Intercession to my life, I end up with a lifestyle change. I act differently. I produce behavior based upon a different why-I-do-it. I am motivated by love for God that touches All at such a depth that His love for others becomes real by My experience of His love for me.
If we wish to study what men do and why they do it from the point of view of “there is something fundamentally wrong with mankind,” we find that all the issues of what men do answer to why they do it. We start looking for how God’s passion for His purposes in men’s hearts, and we discover that wherever His expectations and anticipations are neglected or violated, men produce behaviors dangerous and deadly to God’s intentions.
We find the reason for the problems of mankind all come back to a limitation on loving God with All and others as we come to know God’s love for us personally.
We have some over-simplistic slogans about this that do not stick to our ribs when crises come, but we get a general idea now and then when we avoid our silly exaggerations. We tend to lean into the natural side more than the spiritual side, so we often measure things by how we are loved more than how completely we love God.
When we do, we tend to negotiate with God by justifying our lack of loving Him with All. We tend to negotiate with God on the basis of Him doing a better job of making us feel loved than allowing our love for God to spill over into our behaviors.
We redefined love to avoid those behavioral modifications. We attempt to alter the psychology of redemption so our own explanation of why we do it appears justified. That is called “self-justification,” and that is exactly why God never allows us to set the bar on expectations and anticipations.
Love does not sum up our expectations or anticipations – Law and Prophets – love sums up God’s expectations and anticipations.