Real Love


We live in polarizing times! Most people are lined up on the far right or on the far left. For those of us who are somewhere between those two extremes, it sometimes seems like both sides don’t like us. As I go through my daily routine and talk to people, I can feel the fear, the anger and the passion that people are holding on to.

As Christians we should not be afraid. God was in charge when Nero ruled Rome and He is in charge today. We may not understand what is going on, or why it is happening, but we should have confidence that God is still on His throne and will continue to be with His people, whatever lies ahead.

One of the things I face daily is that Christians are accused of not being loving individuals. After all, if “God so loved the world” (John 3:16), then why is it that Christians are so intolerant, judgmental and unforgiving with those that “God so loved”? On the surface, I understand their frustration. They have been taught that Christians accept everyone no matter what. The problem is that they were not taught the truth. Christians should respect all men and women! We should understand that every living person was made in the image of God and given free will and a choice. It is not our right to try to take away that choice. We should respect every person and treat them justly. No real Christian hurts people just because they have made different choices than we have. And we do not call people names or make crude jokes about them. That is not, and can never be, who we are! We should never treat people badly or even refuse to help them because of race, age, sex, sexual identity or even what we deem as bad or wrong behavior. I could quote a dozen passages but I believe you know them and you know I am right.

What people do not seem to understand, even some in the church, is that love is not agreeing with people, supporting things that are morally wrong or standing by and letting people destroy their soul without saying something. People may not listen to us, they may cut us off and they may even get physical with us. What we cannot let them do, if we can help it, is to die and enter eternity unsaved without even a warning from us. That is not love. Not speaking up would mean that we didn’t care, that we felt no compassion for them and for their loved ones and for the future generations that they might in ignorance lead astray. If we do that, then we can’t call ourselves Christian.

When did Jesus ever say, ”I forgive you, now go do what you think is best”. When did He tell anyone, “follow your heart” or “I know I said no, but I will give you a pass because I believe you are a good person.” God gave us His word to teach us the way that is acceptable to Him. I can’t make choices for people and I need to love them and respect them regardless of the choices they make. What I must do and will do, is try to set the best example of living according to His word that I can and tell everyone that I come into contact with, as often as I can, about the love of God and about the consequences of not doing what He says. That, my friends, is real love!

“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.” 1 John 5:2, (NASB) 
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome”. (I John 5:3, NASB)

“And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.” (2 John 1:6, NASB)

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Albany Church of Christ