It seems to me that love is always the goal. It is not only the goal but hopefully the source from which everything we think, say or do finds their origins. I hope every gift I give stems from love. I hope everytime I correct my children, the motive is love. And wouldn't it be grand if even the thoughts and speech toward our enemies were brimming with love.
Paul, in his letter to Timothy, says something very interesting.
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk.Purity of heart---now there is a tough one. If we could just clear our hearts of selfish motives, bitterness or pride it seems to me life would be so much more loving. When the Psalmist says, "Create in me a clean/pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me," I think he's on to something. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." If we could for just one instant have purity of heart, imagine what we would see!
A Good Conscience. Perhaps this is only possible after a long episode on our knees, confessing all the logs in our own eyes. These logs form a dam which blocks the washing waters of our tears of sorrow and repentance. Imagine every intention being pure like fresh spring water, unlike the smelly cisterns, full of scum. Now there's a wonderful request.
A Sincere Faith. This one is a little more tricky for me. What makes faith sincere? Or perhaps the opposite; what makes faith insincere? According to my daughter, sincerity of faith is not about how well you can defend your faith but in your daily demonstration of your faith in action, words and thoughts. I think consistancy and perseverance are key.
I guess its not about feelings and all that other gushy stuff.
It's about selflessness and truth all put into faithful and consistant action.
Now, there's a goal for us all!