I know what love is supposed to look like and feel like. I know how I am suppose to love because Jesus invented the come-as-you-are-culture. Therefore if I am a believer in Jesus I must follow in his ways. The Way.
It’s an odd thing when you think about it: That I must act, feel, support and have my spirit entwined with another in such a way that it provokes a deafening reaction of realness, contentment and security that are sunken deep into the core of the others’ being. That’s what love is.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
Love is real and truthful. Love causes tears of joy. It causes a pause that elicits a quivering deep breath of exhaustion and relief with the understanding that the root of the most pain is finally engulfed in the core of the most secure of places.
That’s our command. It’s our Kingdom Job Description. There are no two ways around it. The Bible tells us that it is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict; God’s job to judge and ours to love. Billy Graham said that in defense of his love for our President after being accused by a Christian magazine that he was capitulating to President Clinton’s agenda after the sex scandal. That sex scandal.
This is what it means to practice in the Way.
The challenge of our time is not how correct we can be. How orthodox. How much of a defender of the faith to keep out all potential heretics, haters and hooligans. We must stop being driven by the fear of the future and focus on how to love well in the here and now.
A close friend of mine recently said:
I continue to find myself caring less and less about what each respective person professes to believe, and more about how they profess those beliefs in word and deed.
“We should love one another.”
I’m not asking you to give up on the evangelicalness of who you are and what you believe. Not theologically or socially or politically. I’m suggesting it’s time to commit ourselves to the radical love that is irrevocably tied to the One we claim as our Savior.
“For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
Who is our brother?
Other believers? Those who go to church like us? Look like us? Think like us? Act like us?
If someone from ‘the other’ isn’t a part of what you’re doing you’re not building a bridge toward the Kingdom you’re building an army here on earth.
Anyone can build an army. Takes no faith. No guts. No love.
On the reality show NY Ink about a New York City tattoo parlor, a man tatted from head to toe described his understanding of love:
You know someone’s commitment is real when they charge in when everyone else is running out.
Who and what are you committed to? Who and what are you charging towards?
Is it to the fidelity and work of Jesus’ love that created the best case scenario for living a faithful and righteous life,
Is it to feeling ok that you’re right with none of Jesus’ intimate love for the others whom you believe are wrong…
Andrew Marin (@Andrew_Marin and www.facebook.com/Marin.Andrew) is the President and Founder of The Marin Foundation which works to build bridges between the LGBT community and the Church. Andrew is the author of the award winning book, Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (InterVarsity Press, 2009), which has won more awards than any other individual book in the long-standing history of InterVarsity Press. He and his wife, Brenda, live in the Boystown neighborhood of Chicago.