Sunday – August 21, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – August 21, 2022
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.”
“Love” is one of the most common, yet misused and misunderstood words in the English language. On in any media, “love” is synonymous with “romance” and seldom used without a sexual connotation. Commercials tempt the audience to pay for a call for a “love connection,” where companions can be matched or where romantic secrets are told. And yet even Christians have a very fuzzy grasp of the meaning of love. The meaning seems to be, “I love the warm, fuzzy way you treat me and make me feel so good.” Yet, no mention is made of God Himself, or of who He is.
Love is a subject of vital importance, not only because of our fuzzy ideas about what love really is, but because love is a matter of the highest priority. The question society tries to frame love by has become, “Is it loving?” rather than, “Is it right?” If it is “loving,” it is presumed to be right. Not so with Paul’s understanding of love. Biblical love cannot be separated from biblical righteousness. Christian love is drawn toward “right” and repulsed by “wrong.” It is attracted to and adheres to that which is “good,” abhorring and withdrawing from “evil.”
Christian love is something like a battery. There must be two poles for current to flow- a positive terminal and a negative terminal. In biblical thinking, love is more than a choice, it is a decision. It is a decision to choose one thing and to reject another. Jacob could not “love” both Leah and Rachel; he had to “love” one and to “hate” the other. So too we cannot serve two masters, for we will inevitably “love” one and “hate” the other. Our love as Christians must be both a response to God’s love and a reflection of His love.
There are Christians today who urge us to emphasize God’s love, and I agree this we should do. But if we are to proclaim God’s love, we must distinguish between good and evil. The love of God is that love which clings to the good and abhors the evil. The love of God cannot and does not overlook sin nor the judgment which it deserves and requires. If we would speak more of God’s love, we must speak more of good and of evil. Rebuke and discipline are not a violation of love but a manifestation of it. Love acts in accordance with righteousness.