Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Liar

Hello, gentle readers…

I was recently chastised by another blog writer for my focus on the love of God. It is his contention that sin and judgment are the cornerstone of Christianity. I beg to differ. It is God’s love that compels us to follow Him. And it is that love which we bring to a downtrodden world. To love God is to love others.

I John 4:21 “And he has given us this command: Whosoever loves God must also love his brother.”

Whosoever loves God must also love his brother (or sister). The language here is very firm. The Apostle is trying to show the followers of Jesus that love is supreme. One could not, nor cannot abide divisions and a judgmental spirit in the Body.

Look at the verses in context. I John 4:16-17 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him." I John 4:19-20 “We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

You may respond that you DO love your brother and you DO love God. I would challenge you to reexamine that. When God put that mirror of the Spirit up to my heart, I certainly had to do so.

That challenge to my heart caused me to reevaluate how I treated others. I found myself shying away from the homeless. They’re unkempt, often mentally ill, and a challenge to my senses and selflessness. I have had to admit to avoiding some young people because they express themselves in ways I find disconcerting. For example, my partner and I often hang out at the bookstore. There are gangs of young people dressed in goth gear. Quite honestly, they scare me. How silly is that? I avoid talking to them because of that fear and judgment in my heart. Do I love God? Do I trust God? Or not?

Those are just two of the groups that the Lord pointed out. Trust me, there were others. But I share these with you so that you will look inside your own heart; the dark corners where you hide things from your own self. We all have those places.

The Apostle says that if we show no love toward another, we show we do not know God. It’s that simple. Now when I walk by that person who is homeless, I am responsible for sharing the love of God. How? Give a word of encouragement. Buy a hamburger. Give a bible! Show love…the love of God to all men and women.

One cannot continue to quote the often misused phrase (and in my opinion a very unchristlike one), “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” It doesn’t work that way. You say that God hates sin, therefore this is valid. I say it is not. The emphasis is on the wrong thing. God didn’t hate SIN so much that He sent His Son. God LOVED His creation so much that He sent His Son! Big difference.

I would challenge you today to ask God to show you where you are failing in this area. To whom do you fail to show the love of God in your every day lives? I can promise you it will be an eye-opener…and it will prick your spirit and your conscience.

May you fully understand the love and grace of God this day. And may you share it with someone else with compassion.

Blessings,CLG-B

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought that was great Cindy. I too shy away from certian people because I feel fear. At times it is hard to trust your fellow man. It is so hard not to. I will try hard to work on that as I pray more.

john said...

love your blog, cindi,

it is by reflecting God's perfect unconditional love that we really demonstate that we are made in His image.

love ya,

labradorone-john

Lisa (TX) said...

I really like this commentary as it's certainly true in my life. People have suggested many times for me to be a teacher but I recoil because of the children/teenagers, mainly the teenagers as I feel like I am inadequate in that area of not understanding teen culture and I should remind myself they're still human beings, not a strange group, LOL. But that's just one group...I do avoid certain types simply because of stereotypes or internal fear at not being understood because of my speech impediment. God has used flawed people throughout the Bible but it's so easy to forget that part! Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

You know for a book of love like the bible, there seems to be more death and desctruction then in the book of "War and Peace"

TheLesRev said...

Thank you for your comments. Doug, I believe you missed my point. And maybe I wasn't as clear as I should have been. Love is never a license to do wrong. When you love, it should urge you to want to please the object of that affection. Remember, all things are permissable, but not all are beneficial. Sin is certainly not beneficial. But, if you truly love God, you will love His creation and desire to do good to the whole of it.

TheLesRev said...

Thank you for your comments about the "death and destruction" part of the bible. I agree. There's a lot of that, especially in the Old Testament writings. That is where one must distinguish between the love that God showed in the New Testament, through the saving sacrifice of Jesus and the judgment brought on by the law in the O.T. Law requires judgment. If you break the speed limit, the judgment is a ticket and a fine. Law requires judgment. But, love requires devotion. Jesus loved us and gave himself as our payment for the law of the O.T. Therefore, that love urges us to devote ourselves to showing love as Jesus did toward us.

Jo said...

hmm..convicting post...there were definitly people near me I am "contempting"...

roob41 said...

cindy,
i am total agreement with what you have to say about love ... there is far too little of it being demonstrated in our "churches" of today ... i have seen the judgement and neglect straight from the hand of those who claim to have the love of God .... it breaks my heart and calls me to a place of higher love and concern for those around me .... Jesus was not a judge ... when the woman caught in adultery was brought to him he never mentioned her sins ... he knew what they were but what he offered her was love