Monday, April 25, 2016

What is Love?

Love has somehow come to mean acceptance. If I am to love another person, I must accept them as they are, no questions asked.

If my children lie to me, am I just to accept that behavior because that is who they are? If I correct their behavior, does that mean that I do not love them?

Recently, my mom shared an article with me titled, Mean Mom. It is with a joyful heart that I share with you that I fall into the category of "Mean Mom". You see, it is my opinion that love often times requires discipline. This is not an original thought of course, the writer of Hebrews shared this:

"My son (or daughter), do not make light of the
     Lord's discipline,
 and do not lose heart when He
     rebukes you,
 because the Lord disciplines the one he
  and He chastens everyone he accepts
     as His son (or daughter)."  Hebrews 12:5-6

I have spent a great deal of time studying character over the past few weeks. As a spouse, as a parent, as a friend...I hope to be someone who walks along side those I love as they seek to develop godly character. I am of the firm belief, as cliche as this may be, that God desires our holiness much more than He is concerned with our happiness. My goal as a Christian is to love others, yes, but also to have the grace to, in a trusted relationship, share when someone's behavior is not in alignment with godly character.

This doesn't mean that I walk around pointing out the sins of others. I don't need to do that. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. He has the power and authority to convict people of their sins. Plus, I have plenty of sin issues in my own life. Yep, I recognize that I am a sinful person. But I certainly am not going to stand back and be called unloving because I disagree with beliefs and decisions that are in contradiction with my faith. I truly love many, many people whose beliefs are vastly different from mine. If I were to only allow "sinless" people in my life, who would be left? Not even one person!

Those who are hoping to shame Christians often use Jesus as an example of tolerance. He ate with sinners. He was friends with greedy tax collectors. He saved the adulterous woman from being stoned. While each of the things are true, during His conversation with the woman at the well, you can read her story in John Four, He loved her enough to tell her the He knew of her sin. He loves me enough to give me His Spirit in order that I am forced to open my eyes to my own sin. He loves me, therefore, He disciplines me.

Until my dying day, I will continue to love people regardless of their beliefs. I just hope that they will do the same for me.


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