Masters of Easy Love

You ask any Christian who is in their right mind, and they'll tell you that God's Word teaches that we should love. Christ taught love. All of God's commands hinge on loving Him and loving other people. If a Christian doesn't believe that, they're either not saved or have somehow misinterpreted scripture......badly.

We know that we're supposed to show love. We know that we should never be filled with hate. However, debates abound in Christian circles over things that some Christians will say is not hate and other Christians will pinpoint as hate. Plain and simple, when a so-called Christian holds up a sign on the street corner that says, "God hates fags", I think its clear that is a hateful act, not one of love.

I don't post this to point out acts of hate and compare them to acts of love done in the Christian world. I think for those of us with common sense, we know the extremes when it comes to hate and love.

I post this for my fellow Christians who desire to fulfill what Christ called the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40). I post this for those that call themselves true Christians of any denomination. I'm not talking to lunatics who bomb abortion clinics and endorse violence against homosexuals or people with a different color of skin.

I'm talking to the true bible-believing, followers of Jesus Christ. Even though, we know and understand that we should be about the love of Christ, we are still failing miserably. And I'm not saying that we are failing miserably because there are still people in need that desperately need help and love, because that will always be the case as long as we live in a fallen world. I'm not saying that we are failing miserably because the church isn't giving enough. Sure, that does happen, but that is not the point I want to draw out.

We are failing miserably because we have a warped view of what love is. We have allowed our world and postmodernism to shape our view of love, and we've done it almost unconsciously. Let me tell you, that's a scary statement that I just made. Because if you know scripture, you'll know that it says in 1 John 4:8, "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love".

Christians, we are allowing ourselves to be deceived in that we are showing love to a world through the viewfinder of the world and not Christ. We are displaying love to the world, like the world loves, not as Christ loves.

Let me use a common debate and misunderstanding to illustrate my point. There is a movement among Christians that is very scary. Its almost as scary as the abortion clinic bombers. Its the movement that claims we should preach love, not hell. For many reading this, I lost you right there. You're gonna click away from this post now, thinking that you totally disagree with me and that you already have a basic idea of what I am going to say next. I ask you to stick with me. In no way do I believe we should focus on hellfire and brimstone preaching every time the door opens. Our preaching should come directly, expositorily from God's Word. Whatever God's Word calls for, we preach it. I believe in taking the scripture, preaching it, and running straight towards the cross. The gospel message is central in all of scripture. Hell is not. However, I believe that you cannot completely preach love without mentioning Hell at some point. Hell is a part of the story. Its a truth, not to be ignored. In fact, Christ spent more time discussing it, than He spent talking about Heaven. Why? Because I believe Jesus knew the pain, destruction, and agony that Hell would bring, in more ways than we can probably ever really know. Christ loves us so much, that He endured a brutal, agonizing, Hell of a death so that we would have the opportunity to not endure it. Show me a greater act of love. You will never find it.

Christians, we have been lied to. The enemy has surrounded us and polluted the truth. In a demented way, I believe the enemy is perfectly fine with the way we show love, because we leave out the hard parts.

We are masters of "easy love". We have it down to a science. When the destruction occurred in Haiti, we jumped at the opportunity to come to their aid. And that's a good thing! We should have done that! I believe Christ would want us to do that. As a church, we are doing things to reach people groups all over the world. We send shoeboxes full of goods to 3rd world countries. We adopt Christmas angels and give during the Holidays. We reach out to our homeless, feed them, and give them places to sleep off the streets. We do community projects in an attempt to fulfill a community need. We serve. We give of our time. We give of our resources. We give of our talents. These are all good things that we should be doing, and probably can be doing better. However, we do them. We believe we should do them, and we do them with conviction. However, I believe we are only tapping into the "easy" side of love, not the "harder" side of love, which I believe God has called us to as well. I'm not saying that the things listed above are "simple" to do. Giving takes sacrifice, effort, and time. The things above can be draining. However, I believe the type of love displayed is a love that our world matches.

For every dollar and resource Christians give to Haiti, the Red Cross is easily matching that. Not saying that we should be in competition with secular organizations, but how does showing love, by giving to Haiti make us any different than some of the godless celebrities that re-recorded, "We are the World" and are giving the proceeds to help Haiti?

Simply put, we have easy love down, and so does the majority of our fallen world. The type of love that I believe sets us apart is the type that is grounded in the truth. Its the "harder" side of love. Its the type of love God shows us. You can call it tough love, but I don't feel like that truly encompasses this side of love. And "tough love" can sometimes lead down a path of Christians abusing that, excusing hateful bluntness and even worse, showing hate instead of love but thinking its love.

The "harder side" of love is more sacrificial. Its more costly. Its loving people so much that you even relay the harsh realities of truth to them. Its not fabricating realities of truth, like Pat Robertson did with Haiti. Its simply giving the truth.

For example, its easy to help a friend who is stranded on the side of the road with their car broken down. Sure, it may cost us time and gas money, but that's about it. However, if that same friend was hooked on prescription pills, and their life was spiraling, we would have a hard time confronting them with the truth. Why? Because that confrontation could cost us a lot more than time or money, it may cost us a friendship. It may cause us not to be liked. We've allowed selfishness to enter into our definition of love. We love ourselves more than we realize. We think its okay to love, as long as it doesn't make us look unfavorable, cause us to lose friends, or look like a radical.

No one is going to look down on us because we give a few bucks to a homeless mother needing to buy groceries for her children. However, if we share with a friend that they will be spending eternity in Hell without Christ, all of a sudden, we look like a jerk. Both, are acts of love. Acts of love that as Christians, we should practice.

The problem is that we have allowed the Enemy to deceive us into thinking that Christ desires that we show the type of love that the world wants to receive, not the type of love that it needs to receive.

Sure, the "harder" side of love can be taken too far and be "done" unbiblically. I've already addressed that. However, we cannot separate ourselves from showing the love that the world needs. If we do, we cheapen Christ's death. Let us not be settlers. Love is sacrifice. Christ's death teaches us that. 1 John 4 teaches us that. Its splattered throughout scripture.

Christians, let's not be afraid to love.