Lent Day 29–Loving Beyond Platitudes

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6

 Love inspires a vast array of Christian platitudes and clichés. 

  • “Jesus loves me this I know, ‘cause the Bible tells me so.” 
  • “God loves you and has a good plan for your life.”   

We talk about love, but I imagine that genuine love is far more difficult for most of us to live out in our daily life than it is to talk about it.  Especially when it comes to loving those we find unlovely.

Love is the focus of some of the world’s most hated Christian clichés.  One atheist’s blog translates these Christian clichés about love in the following manner, complete with responses:

“Jesus loves you.”    

Translation: “Jesus does, but I don’t.”
Acceptable Response: “Amen.”
Unacceptable Response
: “If that were true, why doesn’t he tell me himself?”

“Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

Translation: “I’m a flaming fundamentalist.”
Acceptable Response:
Unacceptable Response:
“That’s a relief, because I’m a homosexual.”

To love the person whose translation and “unacceptable” response are offensive to us is challenging work indeed.  Who do you find hard to love?

  • The incompetent boss or coworker talking behind your back?
  • The ex-spouse who lives to make you miserable?
  • The fair weather friend—nice as can be to your face—who regularly betrays you?
  • The person whose politics are vocally opposed to your own?
  • Someone who has wronged you, taken your job, stolen from you, lied to you, etc.?

When John admonishes us to “walk in love,” it’s not just a cliché of love that he’s talking about.  He’s talking about genuine love–the kind Jesus commanded: 

 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).

Maybe the world could use a little more of Christians showing that kind of love to turn the world’s unacceptable responses into a chorus of Amens!

Categories Chapel Worship/News | Tags: | Posted on April 11, 2011

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