Sunday, March 8, 2009

All You Need Is Love

Thank you for all of the thoughtful comments. I really appreciate you all giving my thoughts some pondering time. Now out of the comments I noticed and underlying theme. LOVE. And a great question was asked: What does it mean to love your neighbor? Now there is also a connecting questions which is how do we love God but I will assume that this question though complicated can be met with some fairly quick conclusions. Where as the former question seems to be the most fuzzy. So this is where I would like to go.

Jesus already defined who our neighbor is when he told the story of the good samaritan. Anyone we come in contact with is our neighbor. With that out of the way we move to the more difficult part. As a Christian, it is very easy to love my neighbor especially if that neighbor is my friend or another Christian. Though we are not perfect, Christians do an ok job of loving one another. But how do we love those neighbors that do not follow our beliefs. How should a Christian love a homosexual? How should a Democrat love a Republican? How should a pro-life supporter love a pro-choice supporter? These are the questions I am more interested in.

So how do we love those whom we disagree with? The first thing that comes to my mind is being right. We as Christians sometimes focus so much on the fact that we believe that we are RIGHT, that we forget that that is not the point. Besides some people don't believe that we are right and may need convincing. Now is the way to convince someone that they are wrong by holding up a sign that says "God Hates Fags"? To quote a John Mayer song, "Is there anyone who ever remembers changing their mind from the paint on a sign? Is there anyone who really recalls ever breaking rank at all for something someone yelled real loud one time?" I really think we miss the mark when we focus on being right. And when I truly think about being right I am not all that happy. Thinking of all the people that never knew God and have to suffer the consequences, what ever it looks like, does not make me happy but sad. So once we get past the need to be right I think that we can begin to move closer to love.

Now the more and more I think about this question of love, the more cloudy it gets. The way I love John is going to look very different from the way I love Jane. Every person is different and has different needs. What I do think it comes down to is having a sensitive heart. A heart that is not only sensitive to the needs of others, but also sensitive to the Holy Spirit. I really feel that if we try to truly become sensitive to the Holy Spirit, God will lead us in the correct direction. We should approach everyone and every situation with the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. With patients, with kindness, with humility, with a short memory, with generosity, with a heart toward truth and with hope. In all circumstances and to all people, friend or foe, if we can strive in this direction I believe that we will go a long way and people will no longer see Christians as haters of sinners but lovers of people.

Now I feel like I only scratched the surface with this post. What are your thoughts and comments. Love is so big I don't want to stop here but feel that I have run out of brain capacity for the time being.

Grace and Peace

1 comment:

  1. I would say that the Bible, the sole source of truth, tells us that God loves us so we can glorify him. "For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy." (Romans 15:8-9). The goal of God loving us is so that we might praise and lift his name up. The love of God saves us from self-centeredness so that we can enjoy glorifying him forever.

    Love we give to others is to help them find fulfillment in glorifying God as well. Real love aims at fulfilling people in the glory of God. Love has to be centered around God, or it is not real love. A person’s love for his fellow man should spring from God’s love and thus reflect his character. To love your neighbor as yourself does not mean to have a solid self-esteem. It means using the same passion to pursue your neighbor’s happiness as you do your own.