If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.
1 John 4:20-21 Message
We can know about love without being loving, just as we can embrace the concept of love without embracing people.
We are called to love everyone. We cannot choose to love just those who look and act like us. We must love those who disagree with us. This does not mean we compromise our beliefs or confuse others with our actions. Somehow our culture has equated loving with approving. There are times when the most loving thing we can do is lovingly disagree. This is the tightrope of our day. We must daily choose to live with a sensitive awareness of other people.
Rather than being deﬁned, love should be demonstrated. It is not hard to recognize love when we see it. Love is not a feeling; it is a way of life. In many ways, love is the greatest habit that any of us could develop.
Love fulfills the law. Love frees us of all emotional, physical, and social debts. We owe only what we have been so freely given… love.
Love moves us to action.
And because God loves people, he never wants our freedom to hinder his love from reaching them. Love makes us mindful of how our actions, words, and choices affect others.
Because I am fiercely loved, I am mindful of loving everyone.
Lisa Bevere joins Randy and Sheila this Tuesday and Thursday to talk about “fierce love.” Taken from Fiercely Loved by Lisa Bevere. Copyright ©2022 by Lisa Bevere. Published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used by permission.