Love is Other-centeredness

Read: Matthew 5:43-48 and Luke 6:27-36

Story: Recently I listened to a message from a young Pastor who had the opportunity to be a witness in a tattoo parlour. Some may ask, “What was he doing in the tattoo parlour?” but that story can be uncovered at another time. (The Meeting House; Home Brewed July 29, 2018) Importantly, relationships developed and friendly debates took place. A significant response made to the Pastor’s witnessing was this, “I am less interested if God exists and more interested if God cares.” Then this thought was shared, “The question is not, are you a Christian? The question is ‘are you loving’?

Our challenge is, ‘How do I love in a way that sets me apart as a follower of Christ, each and every day?’
Love is other-centeredness. 

“There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that should ever displace the command to love as the first and foremost concern of the disciple of Jesus – no doctrine, no ethical principle, no personal agenda, and no exceptions. (Greg Boyd) And what does this mean exactly? It means our concern for others takes precedence in all aspects of our lives. With every decision made, ask yourself, “does this choice demonstrate love or does it fulfill a personal requirement”?

We may attempt to appease ourselves with the thought, “well, maybe I don’t go out there loving constantly, but I am not hurting anyone”. Think on this quote from Richard Baxter, “To do no harm is to praise a stone not a man”. We need to understand that love is more than simply not doing evil!

The best encouragement to become more loving was this thought, “When Jesus is loved first, everyone else is loved Best!”

Practice: Spend time with Jesus today, reading, watching, listening to how he loves. Then leave your home with Jesus in your heart and your heart on your sleeve!

by Erica Roth Maunula

Comments

  1. Erica- beautifully articulated! Thanks for sharing. We are definitely kindred spirits when it comes to Greg Boyd's quote on loving.

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment