Friday, September 5, 2008

The greatest law

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." -Jesus (John 13:34)

"Love is an unconditional commitment to an imperfect person." -Anonymous

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. -Romans 12:9-13

Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.

-William Blake, Songs of Experience

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. -1 Peter 4:8

......"love your neighbor as yourself." Leviticus 19:18 / Matthew 19:19

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread.
-Robert Burton

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." -Jesus
Love is a choice you make from moment to moment. -Barbara de Angelis

The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. -Galatians 5:13-15

When I think about love, I often find myself thinking about Jesus. For me, it's through him that I learn how to love genuinely each day. It is where I understand and practice the word sacrifice and selflessness. It is through him that I learn I am really not all that, but you are. It is by his example that I learn to love deeply, often feeling the pain and grief of my fellow brothers and sisters. It is through the understanding of his own life, that I learn what love really looks like. When I think about Jesus, I can't help but think about love and when I think about love, I can't help but think about Jesus and the life of Jesus.

I want to to touch the hem of his garment, not only to be healed, but to learn more of what it means to love.

Yes, if there is one law to hang on to, let it be the law of love. Let us love each other with pure hearts and pure motives.

20 comments:

wvhillcountry said...

Beautiful post Steph. I love the quotes and verses you used. Thanks for the reminder.

Ceara said...

Hey what do you think about the whole love the sinner hate the sin bit?

C

Stephanie said...

Kelli-Thanks for your kind words.

Ceara- You know, when I hear that little slogan, it just makes me cring sometimes.

Only because I think it's sad that we feel the need to even say something like that.

I just can't picture Jesus walking around saying this.

But I guess this little one liner isn't so bad if we are using it for our own good. If this one little saying reminds us to stop focusing so much into a person's sins and start actually loving that person, then so be it.

I suspect many people don't really use that one liner as a reminder for themselves though.

Here is something I found interesting. Although I don't know anything about this gentleman, I believe there is some truth in what he shares about the "hate the sin, love the sinner" bit. Check it out, I think you will enjoy it.

http://www.kencollins.com/disc-31.htm

What do you think about the whole love the sinner, hate the sin bit?

The Sentinel said...

We hate sin by refusing to take part in it and by condemning it when we see it. Sin is to be hated, not excused or taken lightly. We love the sinner by being faithful in witnessing to them of the forgiveness that is available through Jesus Christ. A true act of love is treating someone with respect and kindness even though they know you do not approve of their lifestyle and/or choice. It is not loving to allow a person to remain stuck in sin. It is not hateful to tell a person they are in sin. In fact, the exact opposites are true.

The Sentinel

Stephanie said...

sentinel-Hello and welcome. Thanks for sharing how you feel.

Are you the author of http://www.gotquestions.org/love-sinner-hate-sin.html?

I choose to focus more on loving people and learning how to love better. I choose not to focus on other people's sins.

I notice when my focus is more on love, Jesus appears more clearly. I'll let him handle someone else's sins.

Peace

The Sentinel said...

No I'm not the author of that. I should have posted that on my reply.

I think the point is for the person who is doing the loving. Not for the sinner. It's a warning that you can't go into a whore house and not eventually sleep with a whore.

The Sentinel

Under there... said...

"It is through him that I learn I am really not all that, but you are." That really grasps the heart of it all. Excellent post!

Ceara said...

Stephanie--Thanks for the link. I read it over a few times.

When someone says that to me or I hear someone saying that I cringe. I wounder how that is possible.

C.

Stephanie said...

C- I think I know what you mean but I want to make sure. When you say you wonder how that's possible, are you asking how it's possible to love the sinner and hate the sin? Like how to seperate the two?

Ceara said...

How they separate the two. Like for instance I'm a lesbian. That is who I am. You can't separate the 'sin' from who I am and say you love and accept me.

C.

Stephanie said...

C-That's what I thought you were saying. I understand.

wvhillcountry said...

I have to agree whole heartedly that "love the sinner, hate the sin" is an oxymoron. How can someone hate a part of who I am and still say they love me? Notice at no time did I say "hate a choice I made or an action that I did" My orientation is a part of me, just like my hair color and eye color and my height (or lack thereof).

The Sentinel said...

Ceara,
That saying is for Christians. It's just a helpful reminder. I think that it is there so when someone does something contrary to what the bible teaches we are still to love the person.

I think that saying may come in part from Romans 5:8. Which reads: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Ceara, While I understand that you believe being a lesbian is an innate part of your sexual make up the word of God teaches other wise.

That doesn't mean that I can't love you, talk to you, and be a friend to you. It doesn't mean I won't defend you, and help you when you are in need.

All it means is that I believe that being a lesbian goes against what God desires for you.

Hope this helps.

The Sentinel

Ceara said...

The Sentinel--Well I'm glad to hear that you'll support me and be friends with me.

I know that many, many, Christians think that being a lesbian is against God. Honestly I'm at a point where I don't care what they think. I don't care what God thinks. I don't care if there even is a God. I just don't care.

I'm glad that the hoards of Christians out there have things as reminders to them to help them become better in their faith. If it works use it. That's my motto.

C

Stephanie said...

C-I'm sorry you're to that point.

Sentinel-"That doesn't mean that I can't love you, talk to you, and be a friend to you. It doesn't mean I won't defend you, and help you when you are in need."

I hope you do that with everyone.

The Sentinel said...

Ceara,
I am sorry to hear that also. What has lead you to a point where you feel as if you don't care?

Stephanie, I try hard to follow that for everyone that I come into contact with.

There of course some days when I fail miserably.

Is it ok if Ceara and I have this conversation here, or would you like for us to move it?

The Sentinel

~Deb said...

I loved this! The greatest of all these commands in to love God with all your heart. :) It's the heart that matters the most.

Stephanie said...

The Sentinel- Thanks for asking, I appreciate that. It's totally up to Ceara, if she wants to have that conversation here, then sure.

Deb- Hey! Thanks for stopping by. Amen!

Ceara said...

The Sentinel--I'm not going to answer that question. Thank you for asking. I just feel uncomfortable at this point getting into all that.

C.

The Sentinel said...

Ceara,
I can appreciate that. If you ever want or need to talk I will listen.

The Sentinel