In the community of God in Christ, there are a number of things, important to remember for its health. I have been reminded of them lately. Both by seeing love exemplified and by seeing it, seemingly take a second seat.
Paul tells us in the 1 Corinthians 8 passage, "knowledge puffs up; love edifies." (edifies, or builds up).
It is important that love be truth-filled. Love is not just to be some kind of wishy-washy, "I'm okay; you're okay" notion. It is a love that is grounded in God: Father, Son and Spirit. And grounded in the truth of God's revelation to us in Christ and in Scripture. And we see from Scripture, it is full of content. In seeking to live out "the Jesus Creed", we're to love God with all our being and doing, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This ends up meaning following God's descriptions and narrative of love, not our notions of it, such as condescending toleration and moral, spiritual compromise, to name two characteristics of the world's love.
Love is there for the other, because Jesus is the Man for the other. We in him follow suit. And our lives fall short, when we don't do so.
What I'm trying to get at is the importance of us remembering that relationship trumps being "right". Too often I pick up from other Christians that it's all about who's right or wrong on a given subject. Now it's fine to discuss and even have friendly debate at times, on subjects in which we may be divided. But we must never do this at the expense of our relationship to each other and to our God.
Love edifies. It helps bring the other along in the way of God in Christ. And in turn they help bring us along in that same way. Friends don't leave friends behind.
This needs to be our attitude in our relationships everywhere. Even to our enemies. What can diffuse hate? Love. Not just any love. But in the end, the love of God in Christ. And who are the ones to live out that love? Hopefully all of us in the Jesus community.
How can we live out this love today? Where might we need to change in doing so? (I ask myself this seriously, knowing I have room to grow here.)
Some of these thoughts are fresh from our homegroup study, last evening- from Scot McKnight's The Jesus Creed. Though he must not be held responsible for all the thoughts here, or the way I use his insights.