Today’s scripture reminds us that the most important thing we can do as believers is to love God and to love people. However I believe that we live in a world where Satan has deceived us about what true love really is. To help explain what I mean, let me give you a hypothetical example.
If you were sitting on a bench a few hundred yards from a steep cliff enjoying the sunshine and you saw a man holding a white stick walking towards the edge of the cliff, completely unaware and with seemingly no intention of stopping, you would have a choice to make. If you chose to (a) love the man, you would run over to him, shout for him to stop walking and explain why he shouldn’t walk any further. If you (b) hate the man, you would continue enjoying the sunshine and watch as he falls to his death.
We live in a society where people don’t appreciate being told the truth, especially when they are walking towards the edge of a cliff. You see, the wages of sin is death, but many would accuse you of being unloving if you were to confront an area of sin in their life. On the flip side, you might be praised for being a great friend if you just let people do whatever they want without ever making them feel uncomfortable about their ungodly behaviour. They might say that they feel so loved by you because you never judge them and always accept them for who they are. Who has so deceived the world that we call what is hatred love, and what is love we call hatred?
The writer of Proverbs obviously understood this when he said ‘Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses’ (Proverbs 27:5-6).
It’s all too easy to love people with Satan’s counterfeit version of love, but I desire to see a Church that is not afraid to love people with God’s love. We each have a choice. Anyone can love with the world’s version of love, but it takes someone who is secure in God’s love to truly love others at the risk of being misunderstood.
Prayer: Father, please forgive me for the times I have not spoken the truth because I feared that I would offend people or be rejected by them. Help me to be so secure in Your love that I am able to love the people in my life enough to tell them the truth and able to receive the truth from others, as You lead me by Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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