It’s officially February. Which means Valentine’s Day is coming. Today, I want to talk about something more serious. February is considered “love month” and I think that the world needs a lot more love. Specifically the love of God.
Sadly, there is so much hate in the world we live in. We think hateful thoughts, say hateful things, and hate other people. This is the exact opposite of what God desires. After all, God is love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
– 1 John 4:7-8
I think as Christian’s we often fail at loving those who are hard to love. What does that mean? It’s easy for us to say that we love our spouse, our family, our friends, etc. What about everyone else? It’s a sad reality that we don’t always show love to people that we don’t know personally and people who believe differently than us. How can we expect to win people to Christ without showing them His love?
It can be especially hard for us to love people who are living against God. Let’s not forget though, that was once us.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:8
Now please don’t confuse loving others as “tolerance” because that’s not the same thing. The word tolerance has become very popular in today’s culture. The world tells us that we need to be tolerant of everyone’s choices and beliefs. In the world’s eyes, this is what it means to love others. That is not true and it’s a very dangerous thought that has sadly made its way into the Church. If people’s choices and beliefs are directly against what the Word of God teaches, we are not supposed to accept those choices and beliefs ourselves. However, we are called to love those people regardless.
Jesus is the perfect example of this. Throughout the Bible, Jesus is shown loving others. Even people who were living in sin.
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.””
This passage of Scripture is such a beautiful example for us. Was this women caught in sin? Yes, but Jesus showed her love. Jesus did not accept her sin, but He did not condemn her either. Jesus tells her to go and sin no more. We are called, as Christians, to shed light on sin and share the good news of Christ’s redeeming love. Let’s do so, in the same manner Jesus Christ did. Full of love and compassion for those living apart from Him.
Let’s be people characterized by love, God’s love.