The Impropriety of Love

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(Psalms 5:5 NIV)  The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.

Since the beginning of time love has been misunderstood.  Jesus’ life brought the most clarity to humanity that we have ever seen.  God’s word continues to define love for us today.  Love is the most powerful thing in the universe.  Love improperly utilized, though, is as dangerous as a loaded gun in the hand of an unsupervised child.

All men are created equal.  The cultural context is that all human beings are created equal.  It doesn’t take a lot to realize that all of us are not equal.  Some have more money, power, position, food, talents, etc. than others.  Each of us is created equally but that is where the equality equation ends.  What each of us does with the gifts and opportunities we encounter is what brings about the inequality.

God loves the world.  He offers the same amount of love to each individual initially.  What each of us does with the lives we are given in response to that love brings about inequality, though.  While God’s love may be infinite its expression cannot be infinite.  If God were infinite in his expression of love there could be no punishment of the wicked.  Everyone would go to heaven and there would be no reason for anyone to be self controlled.  The concept of rewards in heaven being based on our earthly deeds would be wrong.  Clearly love’s expression cannot be infinite.

David could not be referred to as a man after God’s own heart if he were not different than other men.  John could not be referred to as the disciple that Jesus loved if there were not degrees of love expressed toward the disciples.  God could not say Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated unless God had the capacity for hate.  If God does hate sometimes then his expression of love cannot be infinite.  

Christians have been taught that we are to love above all other things.  Many Christians believe that love is all that matters in their walk with Christ.  Justice is another attribute that comes from God.  We are to be just in our dealings with others.  Can we express loving actions to the person who wantonly murders another and yet be just?  Yes, we can love them spiritually but physically they must be dealt with. 

As with all things when we focus on one part, no matter how good or powerful, to the exclusion of the whole we will come away with a false picture.  It is the lack of knowledge that destroys a people.  It is the lack of wisdom that destroys a society.  When we Christians stop using our minds to see what is clearly contained within God’s will and his word we abdicate our God-given responsibilities.

(2 Peter 3:9 NIV)  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

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