Tuesday, July 2, 2013

love


  1. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another


 with all that has transpired in the last few weeks, i need to talk about love. we've heard these verses a hundred times and heard a dozen sermons about them. we memorized them in sunday school and saw them printed on greeting cards. but what i have seen come out of the Christian community in the past few months disturbs me. see, Jesus didn't qualify who we should love. so i suppose we have to assume He meant for us to love everyone. sounds easy enough? let's break that down a bit.

we should love people of every color....and the people who hate them. 
we need to love gays....and the people who hate them, too.
we have to love the homeless guy as well as the corporate CEO. 
we have to love the victims and the perpetrators. 
we have to love the unborn baby and the abortion doctor.
 those who agree with us, those who disagree, those who hate us. 
love the person who is your rock and the person you most distrust, the terrorists, the liberal, the religious, the racist, the conservative, the one filled with hate, the one who will never appreciate your love. love them anyway.

because if Jesus is the example, we have to love them all. he loved the unclean and the prostitute and the adulterer and the very people who killed him. he actually died for those people. sometimes it's easier for us to love the victims than the sanctimonious. it's easier to love the sinner than the one who considers himself a saint. sometimes... we just can't bring ourselves to love anyone who doesn't agree with us.

We often confused loving someone with agreeing with them. As if showing love is giving permission. But friends, if you feel strongly about an issue, odds are people know that without you constantly telling them. 

sometimes, it's easy to confuse a person with an issue. to let your stance get in the way of your humanity. to forget that there are real, feeling people behind every platform. that it's not just a "yea" or "nay" on a voting card, it's a person who deserves love.

we've heard all of our lives that they will know us by our love. i think the part left out is that they will judge us by our lack thereof. and rightfully so.

in the words Dr. King "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

we can preach, we can protest, we can update our statuses with facts and figures and statistics and arguments. but if we have no love for the people we speak of, we have nothing.

Mark 12:30-31

 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than this.

1 Corinthians 13

 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues,they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

so today, go out and BE love in the world. be kind. be gentle. Be loving. Even when it hurts.

5 comments:

Rodney Olsen said...

Thanks for such a wonderful post on this topic. I don't know why so many people don't understand that loving someone doesn't mean approval of everything they do or why they think that disagreeing with someone over an issue means that we hate them.

themrs said...

I don't understand it either Rodney. I think people are so afraid of those who disagree because underneath it all they are insecure about their own belief.

Bex said...

Too bad you can't preach that from the pulpit (and Sunday School class) at my church. One of the best sermons I've heard recently is where they spell out that ALL OF US HAVE SINNED. That all sins are the same. So we don't have the right to judge others, because we feel that their sins are worse then ours. Your post is one after my own heart!

growingforchrist said...

Ah I was going to say you better be careful, you were starting to sound a little too much like Jesus and we know how He went around preaching hate and dissension :( Like Rodney said I can love a person without agreeing with their lifestyle - I love my brother even though he has chosen a lifestyle I don't agree with but he sees love = acceptance. As far as judging sin - God has already judged the sin, He has said what behaviors and choices are sin, so I'm only agreeing with Him - homosexuality is a sin, adultery, lying, stealing, murder, days I lose my patience and become angry at my children isn't a righteous anger and is there for sinful anger is sin. Unbelievers must be approached differently than a Believer - I'd hope that if a Sister or Brother truly loved me and saw a sin in my life that I wasn't recognizing they would come to me as outlined in Matthew so that if I die today I wouldn't die in that sin. Would I see it as judgement at first? Yes. however I know God has already identified what sin is and my Brother or Sister was helping me in repenting of it. Okay, maybe I should have written a blog post Abby :D

joycer said...

Very well put, Abby. You are wise beyond your years. All of the energy spent spewing what may be well intentioned comments aren't helping US unite. Love (agape) is the only thing that can.