What is Love?

imageI saw the above cartoon on Facebook today. It disturbed me, because it portrays Right-wing Christians as using their Bibles to beat up a gay person. I am against homosexuality because I believe (based on the Bible) that God is offended by it. However, does that mean I hate homosexuals? Absolutely not. I love them, just like God loves them. It bothers me to think that some feel I don’t love gay people just because I don’t approve of their lifestyle. And so that made me think: what is love?

God showed his love by sacrificing His Son: an unpleasant thing that hurt Jesus very much. Did God stop loving His son? No, absolutely not! So we can lean from this that sometimes we do hard things to those we love because we love them.Love is not always defined as “being nice.” Love is doing what is best for the object of your love, whether it hurts them or not. Sometimes we have to do something unpleasant to our loved ones to prevent them pain in the future.

Drug interventions are like this: it’s not fun for an addict to hear from their loved ones that the activity they enjoy is harmful and they should stop doing it before it destroys them.

We discipline our children (which is unpleasant and sometimes painful for them) because we love them and want to prevent future pain. We smack their hand away from the garbage disposal for a very good reason: a smack is better for them than a mutilated hand.

Sometimes we say nice things to those we love. Sometimes the loving thing to do is warn them away from doing things that are bad for them.

As a born again Christian, I believe the Bible says that there are two destinations for all people. We are all imperfect beings, unable to live up to God’s holy standard of perfection. We are all born, and we all die. Where we go after we die is determined by where we place our faith. If, as a reasoning human being, you trust in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for your sins, then you go to heaven. If you do not, then you will go to Hell, to suffer for eternity.

All that being said, I should have two approaches to every human being on earth. For those who do not trust in Christ, my sole concern for them should be that they get that one thing right with God. It doesn’t matter to me that they smoke, that they dress funny, that they are “living in sin” with their girlfriend or their gay partner, or that they are committing adultery. None of that matters, because there will be plenty of people in hell that did their best to follow God’s rules. There are millions of people in hell right now who were heterosexual nonsmokers who never cheated on their spouse. The mission that Christ gave me on earth is not to make imperfect people less imperfect, it’s to help imperfect people realize their complete inability to save themselves, and their need of Jesus Christ. Without Christ, none of the rest matters.

The second approach is to those who are trusting in Christ already. My concern for them is to help them become more Christlike, even as they should be helping me become more Christlike. We are to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” We are to correct those who go wrong . (Galatians 6:1)

People like to quote Matthew 7:1 “Judge not lest ye be judged” to somehow justify any decision they make with which you disagree. Getting a tattoo on their face? Don’t judge me! Getting drunk? Don’t judge me! But what these people don’t understand is that the context of that verse reveals that we ARE supposed to judge our brothers. Verses 3-5 do warn about the hypocrisy of the crackhead judging the drunk, but if you read it, it’s clear that the intent is for us to deal with our problem, and THEN help our BROTHER deal with his. You should stop committing adultery before you criticize someone for looking at pornography.

That is why, if you are a believer, I will confront you about your sin. Because I am better than you? Absolutely not. It’s because I care about you, and I would expect you to do the same for me, if you saw me doing something wrong.

Love means warning people about hell, telling them how to get to heaven, and telling them when you see them in danger of offending God with their behavior.

If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t say anything.


About Steve Picray

I am a conservative Baptist Pastor in the midwestern United States. Every day I commit my life to Jesus Christ. This blog is my view on life. My prayer is that, by reading what I write, you will learn more about me, more about God, and be assisted in becoming the person God means for you to be. If you have a question, just e-mail me at spicray AT gmail DOT com. God Bless!
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1 Response to What is Love?

  1. Wanda says:

    Thank you, Steve. Well said.

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