Love Does Not Confuse

Have you ever noticed that we live in a world which is constantly in flux due to changes in opinions? We can’t tell if we’re coming, or going. Something we may feel adamant about one year could be the antithesis of our truth the next.

For example: We have been stressed about cholesterol for almost forty years. During this time, we have been attempting all sorts of methods to cut it out of our diets and now have learned that there is a ‘good’ cholesterol and a ‘bad’ cholesterol making it even more confusing. We have ingested millions of margarine bars to avoid butter and now are being told that margarine is worse for our health than butter.

The ever-popular Atkin’s diet has now come under serious fire in view of new studies. Just a few months ago, this diet was touted as being the savior of the American waistline.

It kind of makes you wonder about it all – why not just start eating whatever you want? Sooner or later, someone is bound to conclude from a study that what we favor in flavor is the elixir of life.

Even when it seems obvious, most of us are confused over what is good or what is bad for us.

In our Bibles, there are three letters written by John addressing issues of confusion among the saints (especially the first one). Of all the things Christians of his acquaintance were struggling with, love loomed at the top of the list. John understood that love is the image of God within us. Love demonstrates His presence in and among us. It is the most basic and simple mark of the Christian disciple.

So why do we struggle so much with loving? Consider the following story told by Nazi concentration camp survivor, Corrie Ten Boom:

I was in a church service in Munich when I saw him, the former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door at Ravensbruck. Suddenly I was there again in my mind, the roomful of mocking men, the heap of clothing, my sister’s pain ridden face. He came up to me at the church, ’How grateful I am for your message Fraulin, to think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!’ His hand thrust out to shake mine. I who had spoken so often of people’s need to forgive kept my hand at my side.

As angry and vengeful thoughts boiled through me I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? I prayed, ’Lord Jesus forgive me and help me to forgive him’. I tried to smile and I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing for him. I breathed a silent prayer, ‘Jesus I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness’. As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.

Most of us can understand the incredible struggle here to love and yet relish in the victory of God in Corrie’s heart toward her former enemy. However, on a much smaller scale, we find ourselves wrestling with this very issue with those who surround us in our congregational settings (both intra and inter). We struggle to love those who have offended us – even over the most trivial of matters.

Why do we struggle with loving one another? It is our confusion of what comprises “love” in the kingdom. The world barrages us with false meanings of love. We are saturated with soap opera folly and disposable relationships. We are told that love is based more on our feelings rather than the reality of truth. Thus, we forget that things are to be used and people are to be loved – not the reverse.

Our relationship with God and with each other is what constitutes the kingdom, not furniture, property, or money. Love is paramount to our salvation. In fact, our salvation exists because of someone’s love for another.

I John 3:16: We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Love is a choice. Love is life. So choose life.

Keep the Faith.