Hey everyone! Its been a few weeks since I posted. It was an unintentional hiatus. It happens. I appreciate the new followers of the blog, and so if you started following me from the last post – thank you! My goal for this blog is to share my heart honestly, even if that means you may not agree with me all the time. If you do not agree with me, let me know in the comments. Let’s have open discussion, with the ultimate goal of learning more about each other, and about how we can love each other even more then before. Right before I start, shout out to Pastor Shaun Thompson who is teaching an amazing series titled “Love Speaks Louder” at Circle Church Boston. Check us out – and catch up on the sermon series – here.
I titled this blog, Lovers Gonna Love, both because I love the play on the classic phrase “Haters Gonna Hate” and I think the phrase is/should be applicable to each and every one of us because we were called and created to love like Christ. Most of us have heard this before, but what does that mean? Before we can answer that, let’s define the love that Christ is referencing when He tells us to love.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'” (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV). The word love above in this passage is the Greek word, “agapeseis” which means, “you shall be loving”. Its a commandment that the Lord is giving quoting to us, a command to love the Lord, and a command to love our neighbor. The root of agapeseis is agape – this type of love means to love unconditionally and is associated with a choice, not a feeling. So therefore we are to love by choice, our neighbor (everyone), always, not just when we feel like it. Okay – I think that is enough Greek word study for one post. Let’s move on.
So essentially, we are commanded to love always – through bad and good times, and we are commanded to love all people, our enemies and our friends. So, if we are commanded by God to do so, why don’t we do it? The church has a bad reputation in today’s culture, and we sadly, have earned that reputation by being closed off to people who we label as sinners and weirdos and we tend to keep our love in our bubble. If you have been guilty of that (I know I have), then take a needle out and pop your bubble. It is time to love all, always.
There are practical ways to practice this love – and so I challenge you to find the areas where you are weakest at showing love, and practice showing more love there. Stretch and challenge yourself, to follow this command of God. For example:
- In Work – Practice loving those co-workers as they walk in the door, instead of cringing at the thought of having to listen to them all day (I am guilty of this).
- In the World – Practice loving those that by the world standards may not deserve it. Practicing loving those that are rejected because of their look, their attitude, their mental illness, their sexual orientation, etc. Because we are called to love all (there is a difference between loving and accepting a person, and accepting what they believe, i.e. I love Mormons – I don’t agree with their belief system).
- In the Church – Practice actually loving those people that you are currently “fake” loving through your Christian mask at church.
By now, you get my point, but it is not my point, it is Jesus’ point! You may have heard this mantra over and over and over again, but there is a reason… it is important! My prayer for you and for myself this week is that we start to realize how important it is to love one another and to love the world… because our love is lacking as a church… but we can change that, one person’s mindset at a time.