Thursday, March 19, 2009

Love is Not Easier

Many of us have this weird idea that Jesus loosened things up. Some of us think that for centuries emerging from the Old Testament Law, everything was rigid and difficult, and then Jesus showed up with his peace, love, and good vibes and just told everyone to love everybody.

Why do we think it's easier to love people than it is to just be religious?

I'm not sure people who think and speak that way really even know what love is.

Maybe the reason we don't all, in the spirit of unity and rainbows, just set aside our differences and love each other is because it's really freaking hard to do that.

Just as an example, Jesus said that if you lust after somebody, it's the same as sleeping with them, and if you hate somebody, it's the same as murdering them. Where in the world would we get the idea this makes things easier? It's a lot easier to not kill somebody than it is to not hate them. It's a lot more difficult to not lust than it is to not have sex.

And it's a lot easier to follow some rules everyone can see me keep than it is to truly, actually love people.

Anybody can be on their best behavior. But to love someone who hates you? That takes Jesus and his cross.


Andrew said...

Man, what a great post.

I've only just begun to see this. Of everything, giving up my hatred has been the hardest.

Can't wait for the book.

Brian said...

Just as an example, Jesus said that if you lust after somebody, it's the same as sleeping with them, and if you hate somebody, it's the same as murdering them.

It's these kinds of statements that force me to admit my righteousness gets me nowhere. It's gotta be Jesus or nothing.

Randi Jo :) said...

Yes!!!!!! Amen!

Anybody can be on their best behavior.... but what's going on inside huh

Mike said...

Fantastic post. Keep 'em coming!

Roaming Italy said...

Short, sweet, true. I hope you don't mind, but I posted this on my blog as well. I, of course, cited you as the author.

Christopher Lake said...

I recently had an ongoing conversation with an agnostic which lasted for about two months. It ended with him becoming very angry with me (to the point of profanities on his part), because while I was willing to give him evidence and arguments for the truth of Christianity, I *wasn't* willing to admit that Christianity *might not* be true.

By his standards, that is what it meant to take him seriously-- admit that the Bible might not be true and that the Biblical God might not exist. I told him that I could not do so, because that would be betraying the God whom I worship. He (the agnostic) eventually became abusive, calling me a "bigot" and using other, not-as-nice language. It did hurt, especially as I had spent so much time in conversation with him, seriously trying to answer his questions and help him (although I knew that I couldn't *convert* him).

Even though, as we ended the dialogue, he was abusive, I can honestly say that I do love him. I pray for him. How can I *not* love him, after I had been so abusive to God in my life and yet, He still saved me, at the age of 29? I'm not saying that loving this guy is easy. Apart from the Holy Spirit, it is impossible. However, it is the choice that I must make, logically (and joyfully so), as a man who was saved by the God whom he once hated.

smijer said...

Christopher L.,

Speaking on behalf of non-believers, I apologize to you for this agnostic's conduct. If you are unwilling to admit fallibility of your beliefs, that is your business. On the other hand, I'm not sure if you should think of an admission of your own fallibility as a "betrayal" of God. But that's beside the point - your beliefs are for you to decide, not anyone else. And I apologize for the abuse this person gave you.

jeff said...

Keeping rules is what people desire, that's why government never stays small. Love leaves a lot up to you and your stand before God. To me, that is the most difficult aspect, not exactly knowing what to do all the time.

Chanda said...

You know, you really ought not to mince words so much...
Great post.