We don't "decide" if an influence is going to be the strongest.
It just IS.
When we see a beautiful sunset, we don't "decide" that it is beautiful.
It just IS.
We don't "decide" that a certain argument is the most persuasive.
It just IS.
The strength of an influence is not dependent on us "choosing" how strong it is.
Our perception of its strength just happens.
It does not depend on our "choosing" it to be so.
That is a good point.
And I think a good definition of "love" in action is the GOLDEN RULE.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
How do you resolve your above claim when faced with this argument?
1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
3. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.
4. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.
5. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
6. The world does not know that we must all come to an end here;--but those who know it, their quarrels cease at once.
Our thoughts are what draws us. We can choose
which thoughts to retain and take to heart, and which thoughts we allow to pass away. In this way, we can determine the power they have over us
. That is what free will is all about. It's up to each of us to decide whether we want to control ourselves or not. However, the flesh, and its desires, will eventually come to an end here. However, we can choose
to allow the harmful fleshly desires
to cease while we are here.
The bible says much the same thing:
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,[c
] fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders,[d
] drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you
in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control
. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
This free-will is a gift of the Spirit, which we can chose to resist
(as I have shown before on this thread.)
Keep this in mind, as well:
6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”