“I’ll love if I’m in the mood.”
“I’ll love if they agree with me.”
“I’ll love if I gain from it.”
“I’ll love to get what I want.”
“I’ll love as soon as I get the last word in.”
This is what easy love looks like. Love is really thrown around, mostly masked with bitterness (ironic, huh?). I’ve seen these words displayed almost everyday in actions in public, on the news, and on social media. And the sad thing is this type of tainted love is covered in pride. I’m guilty of it; we all are now more than ever.
Maybe love isn’t as easy as we thought. Maybe Jesus was right; maybe we don’t have to agree to love one another. Maybe I really can love my enemies and pray for the ones who curse me (Matthew 5:43-44). Maybe my Facebook status feed of rants are wrong; maybe love takes wisdom to swallow our selfish nature and do uncomfortable, God-glorifying things.
And maybe—just maybe—the Church has poorly exemplified what it means to speak with both truth and love. You know, the kind that’s both decisive and unwavering, yet filled with grace. May the Church be the one who tells the world that disagreement does not mean hate. May we not only tell them, but also show them.
I’m starting to see the consequences of a society that’s used to having everything catered to “me” at the speed of light. Enough is never enough, and it’s turned us into a greedy, ever-growing monster. It’s making us selfish and ungrateful; it’s making us angry and hateful. We are disrespectful, scared, and unable to compromise. We have forgotten how to live with difference…not just tolerate it by harboring anger, but loving the differences and the people.
I have several challenges for you if you want a genuine love. This love is not easy, but it is pure freedom. So here they are:
- When you turn on the news, pray for the people you see.
- Respect authority. If it is your boss, if it is your teacher, if it is our President, each need prayer. And the best part is we don’t always have to be in agreement to show respect. And thank Jesus for giving us grace on the cross so we can show it to those that are harder to love and respect (Romans 13:1).
- Love even if you don’t feel like it (1 Corinthians 13, Matthew 5:46-47).
- Don’t add gas to the fire of arguments—YES, social media does count (Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 26:21).
- Speak with truth of the Word and love of God—neither all grace nor harsh condemnation (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
- Live life not by the flesh, but by the Spirit (Romans 8:5-11). Oh, it is so unlike the human nature, but there is freedom on the other side.
- Listen first (James 1:19, Ephesians 4:26).
- Be filled by Jesus daily (Luke 6:45).
I’m not saying this is easy; in fact, it’s brutally harder day-by-day. But living for God is not easy. In a world that runs to violence to obtain freedom, let’s show them the right way. Let’s show them that love does not crumble, but it restores. May we not leave the world confused, but with their questions answered by God’s love.