Love. The Core of a Christians life. A word that has lost its meaning in the modern world. What makes Christian love different from the rest of the world? The only one who can give the perfect answer would be Christ Himself. For we all are human; filled with error and sin. How many times do Christians abandon Christian LOVE? Too often we mold the Christian life to our design, which ultimately disgraces God. We cant reflect God without showing the love of Christ- THE CHRISTIAN LOVE. I want to look at Love from the view of Jesus.
How can you learn about the Core of a Christian life? The best place to start would be 1 Corinthians 13, aka the Love Chapter. Look at what Love IS. It is patient, kind, protecting, trusting, hoping, preserving, it always rejoices in truth, and it does not keep record of wrong doing. How many people in the world ALWAYS follow at least half of these? The answer is no one. There might be a time where you are following every single one, but how long is it till you slip? Lets break down each one.
“Patience is a virtue”, the phrase everyone hears growing up. The definition of patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. The key here is to tolerate without getting angry. People believe because they can compose themselves on the outside (while feeling irritated or angry on the inside) and tolerate someone or something, they are demonstrating patience. Wrong!!! To truly be patient you have to stay composed on the inside as well as the outside. When we are not being patient we tend to break a couple of the other ones. We stop being kind, we attack instead of protect, and we seem to remember all of their other faults right about now. In our lack of patience we tend to be rude and talk down to one another. I know a family, that will go unmentioned, that talks to each other in a belittling and degrading way. The parents and children all disrespect each other, talking as if the other were a stupid and pathetic person. I hate being around them when this is happening but what am I to say? Would they listen or even believe me?
If we can truly regard ourselves as humble servants and that we are to uplift others, then maybe we will be able to be patient in love. Look at how a young girl going through puberty treats a jock she is completely infatuated with, especially if he is a jerk. She constantly put herself aside and ignore the short comings of this jerk. Why? Because she holds him up on a pedestal (for the wrong reasons). Now obviously she is making a mistake but if the Christian could take the principle behind this and put everyone else above themselves then we would be like Christ.
Love is kind. The definition of kind is, having or showing a tender and considerate and helpful nature. To be kind is to be careful not to inconvenience or hurt others. Here we can see clearly the Core problem that keeps us from showing love, and that is Selfishness. Selfishness is what our human nature is built off of. The fall of man was caused by the greed to know all things like God. Greed is just another word for selfishness. Self is what causes sin, and prohibits love. How often are we actually concerned about what inconveniences another person? If we are full heartily seeking God then we should want to help others. Too many times we make self-righteous judgments and look down on one other. This gives us the “I am better than you” complex, leading us to treat people rudely instead of with kindness and compassion. In order to truly be kind in the Christian love, you must extend it to the people outside of your social group. Even the sinners love those who love them. Jesus talks about this in Matthew 5.
To protect/preserve is to keep safe from harm or injury. It is obvious how you apply this to your close friends and family, but how do you show it to the world? The kingdom of Heaven is available to the whole world if they accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. It is our job to bring the Word of God to the world so that they may be saved. the Word of God is their only defense against sin. Without Christ as their “lawyer” before the Judge, they are doomed to eternal damnation. In exhibiting Christian Love we should have the desire to protect them from their chosen destination. Once again in our self-righteous judgment we see them unworthy of Gods gift. How dare we condemn the blind to walk off the cliff. Shall we call ourselves murderers? Let us extend our hands out to the lost; show them the door Jesus is knocking on. If they refuse then they have made their decision, but should we stop praying for them? Never! Let us preserve the Word of God in our hearts so the we may be mirrors reflecting the light of Christ.
To trust is to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trust and hope are apart of faith. It means believing the best of it all. When we pray to God and it feels like there was no answer to our prayer we are to trust that he knows whats best. We need to let Him do His will and just have faith. No matter the circumstance we should have a positive outlook and know that all things happen for a reason and hope for the best. When we look out at the world the same still applies. This doesnt mean believe every little lie that is told to you because you are to assume the best. Rather, take each person and situation and look at it from the most positive perspective. Someone treats you like garbage- Should you judge this person as rude? No you should believe that they must of had a bad day and you happened to be there to see it. We shouldnt judge based on things we think or see, but only on those things that we know are facts.
It always rejoices in truth/ It does not keep record of wrong
These two are self explanatory… Yet we tend to get mad at truth when it is correcting us, like the pharisees being corrected by Jesus. Here is where pride comes into play. Having pride is being pleased with yourself, dwelling on your achievements, thinking about you, you, you, you… And we are right back at selfishness. It is truly our self-seeking ways that keep us from unconditional love.
We also tend to keep a detailed record book, for each individual person we know, that is kept in the bitterness file cabinet. When someone does something that makes us angry and we hold on to it, that becomes bitterness. The Bible says not to let the sun go down while we are still angry. If we hold on to it we are making a record of it and we file it away in bitterness. The cabinet needs to be locked up and the key needs to be thrown away. There is nothing in that cabinet except self-gratification. Theres that word again, SELF.
Self has got to GO
The Bible talks about in Romans 14 that we should be able make adjustments about our life not because its sinful but for the love and respect of our brothers. This can never be achieved if we put ourselves at the center. It was true when they said the nice guy finishes last. To live like Christ we must put ourselves last. Oh how beautiful it would be if all Christians lived fully devoted to God, with self placed on the shelf.
“Love’s Achilles Heel is Selfishness”