Sometimes, I will send a text to myself when I have a thought I don’t want to forget. The following quote is an expanded version of one such text I sent myself while thinking about the nature of love:
Love is “unfair,” in favor of the beloved. Love looks like a suffering servant – it’s the strong bearing with the weak, it’s putting others above oneself, it’s choosing mercy instead of judgment, it’s speaking grace and life in the face of death. Because love doesn’t “know after the flesh,”1 it cannot and does not react or respond; certainly not with evil. Love, being founded in the nature of God Himself, CANNOT be changed or overcome.2 Love isn’t painful in and of itself, but until the world is matured and perfected, love must and will take the form of suffering servanthood. We must know this: if the Kingdom/Reign of God (the expression of the nature and will of the Spirit) is ever to be manifested on earth, it must do so through the body of Christ on earth! As such, those who are Christ’s cannot repay evil with evil – not even a slight evil with an even slighter evil. As should be obvious, repaying evil with evil, violence with violence, anger with anger, selfishness with selfishness, insult with insult, etc. simply perpetuates evil. To end this cycle, someone has to absorb blows and insults, without returning them. Someone has to walk in a higher plane than reasonings and reactions based on ego and fear; demonstrating the nature of God by showing KINDNESS to those who are undeserving, by speaking truth and life in spite of persecution, by both proclaiming and demonstrating God’s nature and mind. This, by the way, does not mean pointing out “sin” any time you see it. Doing that is actually administering DEATH. It means showing and offering Life.
As I’ve said many times before, I am optimistic for the future. I am confident that death will be swallowed up by life, light will banish darkness, truth will prevail over lies, Christ will replace Adam, and love will overcome fear. In fact, I am certain of these things, because I am certain that in Christ, from the foundation of the world, they have already been accomplished! Time and space place inescapable constraints on flesh and blood, but they have no such constraint on Spirit, where the end is known from the beginning and both past and future are merely parts of one whole. In the Spirit, death IS swallowed up by life, and love IS the foundation of all things. Just how and when these things will manifest in time and space, I don’t know. But I am confident they will. Now, I am very aware that there is much I don’t know! I am just increasingly confident that Christ has fully prevailed, so therefore NOTHING can stop the manifestation of love and truth and Life!
It bears repeating: true love often involves suffering. Love suffers because it absorbs the various abuses that stem from fear, ignorance, and unbelief, but never returns them. Paul wrote that Christ’s body is to “overcome evil with good.” Love overcomes evil in the same way that light overcomes darkness, and truth overcomes lies. Love suffers yet overcomes, because it doesn’t change or cease when things are difficult or when opposition is strong. Jesus, the greatest man to ever live, allowed himself to be abused, beaten to shreds and crucified by prideful religious fanatics and a callous military and political system – in order to save them all!
I’ll end with this: what if the “salvation” Paul wrote of has more to do with aligning ourselves with and then bringing the “Kingdom of God/Heaven” to earth than it does with going to “heaven” when we die!? What if, as the body of Christ, WE are the only ministers of salvation this world has – a world that still remains in darkness and needs it! What if love is the necessary foundation, without which any preaching is useless? What if the way we minister this salvation is no longer primarily by “preaching,” but by sacrificial LOVING, even if that means physical death! Are we willing, or willing to be willing? Our Spirit is.
Be blessed my friends, thanks for reading.
- 2 Corinthians 5:16
- 1 John 4:7, 1 Corinthians 13:8