Begin With Love
By: Danny Wallace
In a world where religion often poses as Christianity, Christians are quick to explain or qualify our love. We use certain phases and quote them as if Jesus said them from the cross. “Hate the sin, but love the sinner,” is one of our favorites. However, as biblical as this sounds, this a quote from Gandhi, not Jesus.
We seldom show love to anyone without first making sure people understand that our love for the person does not mean that we “condone” their sin. Of course we don’t condone their sin. The verb definition of condone means to “pardon or forgive.” That’s the last thing we intend to do. By this definition Jesus went to the cross to condone our sin. “By His sacrifice,” He pardoned and forgave all of our sins – forever.
I just read a posting on Facebook praising some guy that agreed to buy a meal for a homeless man if the man would agree to let him pray for him. Religion is always about us. How we look, and the point we need to make. Jesus died for the world. They don’t know we’re Christians by our public praying. If so, the Pharisees would have had the market cornered on public praying. They will know we are Christians by our love. Buying the meal is about the man. The need to be seen praying for him is about us.
Within this mish-mash of religious Christianity we are led to believe that love is a reward for goodness. Quite to the contrary, “love” is the doorway to all that is good and holy. Jesus loved us while we were dying in our sin. We love Him simply because He first loved us first. Knowing this, who will be the first to love?
Love inspires a man to reach for the stars, while lying in the gutter. Love mends a broken heart. Love heals the body, extends our life, and prepares our hearts for a powerful anointing. Love is the answer. Therefore, rather than making it the last thing we offer when all else has failed - begin with love.