Love is a loaded word.
I live in the North and I hunt. When I say, “I love Black Bears!” it means that Black Bear meat is delicious! I’m telling you; you want a great breakfast sausage, try Black Bear! (#NorthernPork)
But if I said, “I love dogs!” it does not mean that I think dog meat is delicious! It would have to be a pretty crazy survival scenario before Fido became a food source!
Love is a loaded word that depends heavily on context!
Now think about this scenario:
Imagine my 9-year-old son sits my wife and I down at the kitchen table for a serious talk. He looks us in the eyes and says,
“Mom and Dad, I’ve been thinking about my diet and education. I feel like eating Gummy Bears on a daily basis and watching Netflix as a primary source of schooling is the best plan for me going forward. And if you really loved me, you would accept my decision.“
Obviously, my wife and I would have a unified reply:
“No, because we truly love you, we’ll stick to the diet and education plan that we’ve followed.“
Love In Our Culture
You see, more and more within our Western culture, love is often equated to acceptance.
“If you truly loved me, you would accept my decision to ______________.”
How did we get here? How do we move forward? As Christians, we are called to love each other and show Christ’s love to this world…
…but how that love is shown is becoming increasingly difficult.
Paul’s Prayer Holds The Key
In Philippians 1, Paul issues a prayer regarding love that holds some answers to this loaded love problem.
“9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Phil. 1:9-11)
Did you catch that? Paul didn’t pray that the Philippians’ love would “…abound more and more.” There’s a comma! Paul prays for a love that’s mixed with “…knowledge and all discernment…”
Knowledge & Discernment
Knowledge and discernment are recognised Spiritual Gifts, bestowed upon certain members of the church, for the edification of the Body and furtherance of the Gospel.
However, as Paul prays for love to abound, the Holy Spirit leads him to include a prayer that these 2 gifts fall on the Philippian Believers.
So that they may “…approve what is excellent and so be pure and blameless…”
We Should Pray For This Love
Moving forward in today’s cultural climate, this should be our prayer.
“Dear Father, help our love abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so we may approve what is excellent and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.“
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
In your opinion, does love equate to acceptance? Why or why not?