I’ve noticed more and more frequently that my peers who want nothing to do with Jesus want everything to do with half of Jesus’ central teaching – Love your neighbor as yourself.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very attracted to the love-rules-all mentality that is sweeping across the globe. It is replacing apathy with proactivity, divisiveness with peacefulness, and selfishness with selflessness…
Or at least that’s what Satan would have us believe it is doing.
In reality, I think this love trend is nothing but a crafty deception. Sure, subscribers to Jesusless-love have great intentions. And, if this were a perfect world, their intentions would succeed. But the Bible verse that says, “God is love,” is written that way for a reason. When man reverses the words to proclaim that Love is God, we’re buying right into one of the most sly forms of idolatry Satan ever tempted us with.
After all, how can love be wrong?
When love becomes our god, we start believing that our feelings justify everything we do. But the Bible speaks to that too, saying, “The heart is deceitful above all else.”
For instance, a lot of people I know who say love is their religion are pretty intolerant people. If someone like myself were to tell them that I believe the only way to enter heaven is to love Jesus as the one and only God and as the substitute for sin that every human needs, that person would probably get pretty angry. And they would probably act on those feelings by trying to legislate away my right to pray out loud at a public school, for example. They would say they were voting that way in order to promote love and unity, but, I definitely don’t feel loved in that situation. I feel discriminated against, actually. Divisiveness is occurring, and Satan is snickering because we are blind enough to believe that this country is actually promoting peace.
A lot of people who worship love also pride themselves on being pretty selfless people. And maybe they are some of the time. But when it comes down to making a choice between loving themselves or loving another, they, like all humans, will choose themselves most of the time. In the example about praying in public schools, if they were to choose to love the evangelical Christian instead of themselves, they would quietly do a crossword while the Christian prayed for 30 seconds. Instead, they are choosing to love themselves by demanding that no one talk about Jesus around them. Selfishness is occurring, and Satan is snickering because we are blind enough to believe that people are capable of being selfless the majority of the time.
To be sure, Christians, left up to their own devices, are no better at promoting peace or selflessness than non-Christians. The fact is, all humans are self-centered, prideful creatures; neither quality lends itself to the promotion of unity with others. Call a spade a spade – humans suck and will never be able to muster up enough gusto to love others well.
If people are going to love others well with any consistency, it is going to take a miracle. Something supernatural will have to occur. People will have to be supernaturally empowered to be proactive lovers. God Himself will have to take up residence in our hearts, guiding our words and actions to be selfless and peaceful.
But God isn’t just going to barge into our hearts like an unannounced house guest. He’s much more of a gentleman than that. He stands at the door and knocks and waits for us to open the door. If we slam it in his face, he will quietly knock again. If we open the door and walk away, expecting good things to follow, we will find our homes as empty as they were before God came knocking. We have to invite God in. We have to ask God to love others well through us because we know we can’t do it on our own.
Our whole lives.
And we always fail.
God is love. And He alone can love people well.