Being Loving

People talk about love and loving others all the time. Usually people who aren’t even Christians talk about how God is love and how it’s all about love and that love is the most important thing. Whenever I hear such things I can’t help but wonder, what is the end game? To me, when someone touts “love, love, love is all we need!” it’s in an effort to hide something. It’s how this person wants everyone else to respond to whatever it is that they are doing, about to do, have done, thinking of doing, and what they would do if no one would ever know. You may see that it’s a little judgmental to think that way about someone who just wants everyone to love each other. Someone who just wants to live their “truth” and to have others just love them. That could be judgmental of me, or it could be that you’re not being honest about yourself and the condition of your heart when you use such language. It could also be that what I think is loving and what you think is loving are completely different things.

Some think of love as something that resembles giving and taking between two people or just take only. It could also be a selfish type of loving that asks what you can do for me or how good are you going to make me feel about myself. Most worldly love is very self serving as it weighs every situation in such a way that looks for the best possible outcome for self. Then there is a Christian view of love that takes its cues from Holy Scripture and how God’s love for humanity is displayed. In the Christian worldview, love is something that is done for the benefit of another. It seeks to improve or do what well help another to be their best possible self without the expectation of a return on the investment. Godly love seeks to place others above self. If we were to look at what Christ calls the greatest commandments we would clearly see this. The first greatest being to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul. The second is to love our neighbors as ourselves. Neither commandment even mentions loving ourselves or making sure we are taken cared of first. Maybe this is where I have errored, in applying my Christian view of love? But the Christian view of love seems to be in the best interest of everyone involved in living in this harsh world in which we share. But there is a bit of irony to all of this. The touting of “just love” will more than likely be made to or against a Christian showing love to another person. Someone will do something that is questionably immoral and a Christian will say something against it or propose a contrary view to the situation. I will admit that not always will the instruction/correction will be kind and gentle; this is major problem that has deeper roots. These roots come from a lack of understanding of a person’s own need for grace and mercy as well as forgetting that Christians should not think more highly of themselves than they should. When we put ourselves on the more higher moral ground we lose humility causing everyone to sound “preachy”. But it will always be what the other person does not want to hear. If it’s not them that will call for “love”, someone else will. It could be a simple opinion that a Christian disagrees with and states a biblical truth and someone will bring up “love”. Now, if you remember how I defined Christian love then you would know that the words spoken is for a fruitful future and not necessarily and happy present. So, the objection is to not having a happy present regardless of the consequences. This is why people just want to live their “truth” and have others just love them through it because you will otherwise destroy their present happiness with talk of consequences and a unfruitful future.

To truly understand Christian love you have to use the analogue of the human body and medicine/surgery. Let’s say that you have an infection in one of your fingers. When you first noticed it, it wasn’t that serious. Someone tells you that you should take some medicine because the infection can become serious. They urge you to take action quickly but you are offended because you believe that they are involving themselves in your personal life. You believe that no one has the right to tell you anything about the care of your body. So you ignore the infection. As time goes on the infection will continue to get worse but true love will cause pain. You think doing what you want in regards to your body is right and others respecting your ill advised decision as loving you. To truly love is to do the hard thing like pouring on the antiseptic on the wound or at least consulting someone with more wisdom. By allowing the infected member to live their truth even when you know it will bring destruction, the member will get to the point of no return. The situation can become so dire that the infection could spread from a finger to the entire hand. Gangrene could set in and the whole arm is now unusable and of no value to the body. The bacteria can enter into the blood stream and travel to the brain or nervous system. You will be to the point that in order to save the whole body, the finger or whatever is left of the arm will have to be cut off. By not truly loving and correcting the error the whole body is now at risk of the infection spreading, staph infections, complications during surgery and or death. But our approach to “loving each others choices and truths”, is not new at all. Our current views on “my truth” and just loving, is a throwback to a different time in history that never really left.

We currently live in a pagan culture and it is proven everytime a Christian says that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. The response of culture is that there are many ways; that everyone has their “own truth” that works for them. How is that pagan? The ancient Greeks and Romans had a pagan god for everything and every form of earthly living. Pagan gods for fishermen, farmers, soldiers, wine markets, etc. And everyone’s pagan god perfectly fit how they desired to live their life. Everyone respected their pagan idol gods and no one challenged their chosen lifestyle. Love is love in a pagan culture. Complete indifference to everything but just like they were mistaken so our we, when we believe that indifference is love and tolerance. True love saves, indifference and tolerance let’s you walk off the cliff because jumping off the cliff is your truth and penalty for failing your pagan idol god.

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