It’s funny how much I always need to be reminded of the basics in life. The most fundamental truths I forget the easiest. Bible verses that should fill my mind and heart always, I forget for months at a time.
This just happened again.
Around me recently there has been much debate over how to treat people who are victims of one particular sin impulse. “Well, as Christians we have to love them,” everyone says. “But how do we love them? Well, I think we have to let them know we support them but not their behavior. We can be around them–except when they’re acting on that sin. Don’t forget that God views all sin the same, even though we most certainly have to be most staunchly against this particular one. We can do these things….”
These answers never strike me as being completely satisfactory. Something seemed missing, something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
Then I realized–how could I forget? God quite clearly tells me how to love:
“Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude,
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,
Love never fails.”
~1 Corinthians 13:4-8
As I remember this truth, every characteristic of love is like a dagger to my heart. I see so clearly that I do not love the people around me as God commands. I fail at each point.
I also lift my eyes and cry in protest, “Lord, surely this is too much!! They will break me if I love with this reckless abandon!” And the truth sung in Switchfoot’s song rings out as a true answer: “If it doesn’t break your heart, it isn’t love. If it doesn’t break your heart, it’s not enough” (“Yet”). Jesus embodied love, and look at how painful His example is. If we suffer as Christ did, though, that is truly blessed.
Lord, Abba, help us to love. Help ME to love.