Monday, February 12, 2007

love edifies

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.

7 comments:

julie said...

I certainly have room to grow in this area!

andre said...

Ted,

Friends don't leave friends behind is a great phrase...it reminds us to keep spurring each other on.

Thanks for the post

Ted Gossard said...

Julie, Surely we all do. Especially when we consider the goal, conformity to Christ himself! Thanks.

Ted Gossard said...

Andre, Thanks!

Yes. We need to be there for each other in all kinds of ways. Especially when times are bad. But really at all times (as I remember some proverbs).

Charity Singleton said...

Ted -- Another great post. I'm sorry I don't get over here to dialogue every day. I do read all of your posts and just love the direction of your thinking.

I think the Sermon on the Mount is full of this kind of love you are talking about, the love that doesn't try to be right. The more I read about this kingdom of love, the more I see Jesus calling us not just to radical discipleship, but also to radical relationships with one another. Love like what he has shown us and what he is asking from us is not of this world.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Good post.

Perhaps one of the ways to maintain what you write and still have substantive debate on matters of doctrine and morality, etc. is to take issue with the argument and not the motives of the person. There is too much name calling and labeling of people instead of actually engaging the actual issue over which there is disagreement. This has been on my mind this evening while reading through some of C.S. Lewis' work, where he states that arguing against the person and not the position is not to deal with the view in question at all.

I was actually thinking of blogging something on this and then I read your post.

Thanks!

Ted Gossard said...

Allan, Thanks.

Yes. I think when we stick to the issue at hand, then we're able to discuss it through together.

But when it becomes a personality issue, then good discussion and mutual understanding, along with mutual learning, or at least Christian love, ceases.