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If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
(Phil. 2:1-2)
Dr. Karl Meninger, one of our day's most prominent psychiatrists, has said, "Love is the medicine for our sick old world." His staff was often told that love was the most powerful thing they could give to their patients. Someone must have been listening to Meninger because in recent days scientists have been analyzing this medicine that Meninger called love, and in the laboratory they have come up with some interesting observations.

Believe it or not, scientists have learned that love produces changes in body chemistry; but as you might guess, they still are not quite sure how it works. They just know that when male meets female, the level of an amino acid in the bloodstream, known as phenylalanine, leaps to a high equaled only by devouring a pound of chocolate. "People in the throes of chemistry," says Cathy Lawhon, "call it magic, but human behaviorists attempt to define it scientifically. Theories of how chemistry works range from the biochemical effects of raised phenylalanine levels in the bloodstream during love relationships to synchronous and harmonious personal interactional styles."

That, of course, would explain why someone may become misty-eyed and irrational when he falls in love. But in reality, you don't just "fall in love," as you fall into a ditch, or a sewer when the manhole cover is missing. Love is a choice, a decision; but undoubtedly, it is an emotion with tremendous power and implications.

Scientists have come up with a number of theories regarding the chemistry of love, and I won't take time to give them to you. You can find them discussed in contemporary scientific journals and popular magazines, but I've been intrigued with this whole concept of love's chemistry.

Actually though, the concept of love's chemistry isn't completely new at all. More than 19 centuries ago, in the city of ancient Ephesus, a learned rabbi-turned-missionary-preacher, by the name of Paul, analyzed the chemistry of love. He mentioned a variety of ingredients which make up the real thing: patience, truthfulness, sacrifice, service, along with some negatives which are rather hard to define.

Do you recall Paul's words, often quoted at weddings and, more often than not, forgotten afterwards, which we find in 1Corinthians chapter 13? Here they are:
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries, and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails, but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, it will be done away. .... And now abides faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love."
And there you have the real chemistry of love.

Resource reading:
1Corinthians 13:1-13.

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Author Biography

Harold J. Sala
Web site: Guidelines International Ministries
Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963 and has served at its helm since its inception. Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is broadcast in 49 of the 50 states and is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in 19 languages. He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children and eight well-loved grandchildren.

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