Yesterday, my good, like minded friend and I met to catch up on each other lives. As with most of our conversations, we eventually began discussing current events. Both of us were disappointed and somewhat astonished by recent events.
So we began to look for a loop hole in this whole, “Love everybody” thing. Because surely God anticipated Facebook and social media and therefore gave us provision for that. We were sure there must be a clause that allows us to speak our minds and opinions in the absence of love if it’s through social media. Surely God did not want us to love leaders we disagree with or who we think are evil. And there is absolutely no way God could expect us to love Christians whose politics we find distasteful, or who disagree with us about a flag. And come on, how on earth could I love someone who is living a lifestyle of sin and is unrepentant? This love thing must have limits.
But alas, there was no loophole and when God said love your neighbors and your enemies, he meant it. And yes God anticipated the times in which we live today, so he gave us some very practical instructions. He said:
Remember you do not wrestle against people, your fight is against Satan and his demons.
If someone hurts you, turn the other cheek. Forgive as you have been forgiven.
Let your speech (even your Facebook speech) be edifying and give grace.
And then He gave us examples like John the Baptist who was the greatest prophet but loss his head (literally) when he got into a political battle.
He showed us how to love sinners and called them into their destiny like Jesus did with the woman at well and Matthew the tax collector turned disciple.
He showed us how to love an unpleasant leader in the story of Daniel.
But most of all He sent His son to die a very cruel death to demonstrate how much He loved us but also to show us how much he loves sinners, and imperfect leaders. And then He gave us His Holy Spirit to empower us to do that love everyone thing. There is no loophole. We must love.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.”
Philippians 1:9-11 NIV