Love, What It Doesn’t Mean

24 02 2007

me-haley1_1.jpgThe believer is to be consumed with one occupation… love. He must love God, his neighbor as himself, fellow believers, and even his enemies.

Loving that way takes so much time it really helps keep one from doing things Christians ought not do.

There is a problem, however, in understanding just what it means to love biblically. The best way to learn to love properly is to look to the examples set by God and Jesus.

The Bible says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

If God is love (and He is) then everything He does is done in or consistent with love (biblical love). That means God’s judgment and stance against sin and unrighteousness is a loving stance. It is just on this point that many people get confused today.

There is a tendency to equate love with unconditional acceptance. In other words, some think that love means accepting whatever a person is or does. But that is not biblical love. That is not the love believers are called to display.

God loves everyone, but He doesn’t accept everyone just as they are. In fact, the Bible is quite clear, if a person stays just as they are they will die in their sins.

Turn it round this way, if love meant accepting everyone just as they are then Jesus didn’t have to die on the cross. In a way, every time it is taught or implied that love really means the unconditional acceptance of everyone regardless of their beliefs or actions, it is the same as saying that God is not love.

So, one thing is certain, love does not mean total, unconditional acceptance.     

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