Do everything in love -- 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)
Think hard about this:
Have you ever heard someone see a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindu or INSERT ANY RELIGION HERE do something that makes them look like a jerk, and then heard a person say, “It figures that they are a Jew or Muslim or Hindu.”
You probably don’t have to think that hard because I can almost bet you money the answer is no…unless that person is a Christian. If a Christian is a jerk, you're almost certain to hear at least one person say, “It figures that they’re a Christian.”
Christians are held to a higher standard. Why? Why is the pedestal that Christianity sits regarded so much higher than others? Why is a Christian expected to do good, but not any other religion? Christianity preaches the forgiveness of sin—the idea that we are deeply flawed people…shouldn’t this put us in lesser regard?
That definitely makes sense. Except for this: love.
Christians are indeed forgiven—saved by the grace of the cross; but in that cross is a message of love—a message that Christians are called to follow.
The problem with love is, in many ways, love can only come when we let the Spirit work through us to do extraordinary things.
Love is a natural emotion—love your child, your spouse, your parents—those are natural things. But the extraordinary love that the Bible teaches—that it commands—is loving when everything inside us wants to hate—loving when there is absolutely no reason to do so. That kind of love can only happen through God—when we surrender ourselves and say not my will, but God’s will.
The Bible says to do all things in love. But let’s be realistic…how many things do we really do in love? Is it love that makes us yell? Love that makes us hate? Love that makes us plot revenge or wish ill thoughts on someone? If we’re really being realistic here, we probably don’t even do most things in love.
If Christians took a deep breathe before acting or speaking and said: “Do all things in love,” then what might this world look like? You don't need to stand on street corners and scream the gospel at anyone who passes by...you just need to love.