Church, it’s time we stop letting the world define love.

I have seen numerous posts lately which have the same basic premise. “Because I love/care about…, I do….” Or even the opposite sometimes, “Because I hate/disagree with….., I do …..”

For example:

  • Because I love my neighbor I wear a mask
  • Because I care about animals I refuse to eat meat
  • Because I hate racism I support the riots
  • Because I care about women I support abortion
  • I support life over money so I stay home and refuse to work
  • I support equality so I want the police decreased
  • I want this current crisis to end so I am in support of all the new orders

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging the way you feel or what you plan on doing because of your feelings. The problem is when we begin to assume the opposite.

Especially when it comes to others.

For example:

  • You often don’t wear a mask so you must not care about others
  • You must hate animals so you eat them
  • You are against the riots so you must be ok with racism
  • You don’t support abortion so you must hate women
  • You want to get back to work so you care more about money than lives
  • You support the police so you must be ok with police brutality
  • You disagree with the government and all these new rules, therefore you must want this pandemic to continue.

The reality is none of those actions are specific commands given by God. And many of those actions are time/place sensitive.

What if a person refused to eat meat because of animal cruelty, but didn’t treat their own animal any better?

What if a person hated cement so they decided to destroy every building made out of it?

What if a person lived in a state where masks weren’t an executive order?

When we allow the culture to define love, “love” will constantly change.

Church, we need to stop letting the news and culture dictate what love looks like. We’ll never hit the goal when we’re running after them.

What if we let the Bible define love?

Love is patient, 
love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. (1 Cor 13:4-8a)

I don’t know about you, but if that’s God’s definition of love (which it probably is since it’s in Scripture), that is way harder than just wearing a mask or posting approval of someone else’s actions on social media.

And you may be loving your neighbor by doing or not doing a certain action but are you loving your neighbor when you judge them for choosing differently?

Can we honestly say we know the heart of every person who feels differently than we do? Can we honestly say we know our own hearts perfectly? I’m realizing I can’t.

Maybe we should be careful to define love by actions that are “changeable.”

Six months ago would you have said “loving your neighbor means wearing a mask”? Will you be saying it six months from now? That one even depends on the State you’re in.

Since many of these actions are legitimate only based on the where, when, how’s and why’s, maybe we need to be careful using them to define love. Maybe you can love animals and still enjoy a hamburger. Maybe you can show love by wearing a mask. But maybe you can show love even when you’re not wearing a mask.

Since when did mask wearing become the definition of love anyways?

Church, let’s get back to letting Scripture define love and not the culture in which we live. Let’s show the world what real love is.

  • Love is being patient with those who disagree with us on social media
  • Love is being kind to those who are yelling and shouting their hatred over whatever the current issues are
  • Love is not boasting in our specific actions but building up others and encouraging them
  • Love is not being arrogant or rude with those who voted differently
  • Love is babysitting for free for our single-parent-neighbor occasionally so they can have a break.
  • Love is rejoicing with the coworker who gets the promotion we wanted
  • Love is crying with the friend who just lost a loved one or who’s child is in rebellion

Real love is hard and takes time, effort, and is way more than just a feeling.

Because after all, what has the LORD your God required of you oh Man, but to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Maybe, Church, if we can get those three things taken care of, the rest of our actions will line up with love, no matter what the culture says.