In this study, we read through abridged excerpts of Søren Kierkegaard’s book Works of Love as found in Provocation – The Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard. Within these writings, Kierkegaard explores the practical aspects of the duty to love your neighbor as yourself. I have personally found these excerpts to be the most profound discussion on this greatest commandment. This lesson covers four weeks.
Works of Love – Week 1(a) – God’s Triumphant Love
God becomes human not only to show his love for us but so we may fully reciprocate that love towards him.
Works of Love – Week 1(b) – Neighbor Love
This duty to love is blind to the identity of the beloved. Because of the imperative “shall”, this love is given unconditionally and equally to all persons without any distinctions. When we do our duty to love, we find our neighbor.
Works of Love – Week 2(a) – The Greater Love
To paraphrase Jesus (Matt. 7:24-27), a relationship can either be built on the rock of God’s love or the shifting sands of human preference.
Works of Love – Week 2(b) – Love the Person You See
The task is not to find the loveable object, but to find the object before you loveable. To love is to love the person one sees.
Works of Love – Week 3(a) – Love’s Hidden Need
Our Love is known by its Works of Love just as tree is know by its fruit. Luke 6:44
Works of Love – Week 3(b) – Love Builds Up
Only when we presuppose the existence of love in the other do we have the foundation in which to build up the love in the other.
Works of Love – Week 4(a) – Love’s Like-for-Like
It is only an illusion to imagine that one himself has forgiveness, although one is slack in forgiving others.
Works of Love – Week 4(b) – Love Abides Forever
Even though the Beloved breaks off the relationship or fails to reciprocate the love, so long as the Lover continues to love, the love remains.