Warped Love

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Defining ‘love’ can be a most difficult thing. For example if you were able to ask a cannibal, “What is love?” he may answer by telling you, “It is eating someone from a warring tribe!”

So trying to nail down this article and get a clear message across of ‘what is love’ and ‘what love is not’, I found it a most difficult task. So please grab a hammer, some nails, your Bible, and try to follow along with the points I am trying to make.

‘True love’ hurts at times. It involves a lot of conscientious decisions each and every day. The best example is being a parent and raising your children with godly love and wisdom. It hurts to discipline your children properly. Parents that don’t are actually selfish because they don’t want to feel that pain. They become ‘enablers’ that spoil their children, all because they don’t want to feel that pain. Proper discipline and obedience are actually inseparable from ‘true love’. As you read through this article you will understand better why I used the portions of Scripture I did.

We in the church have failed to remind this generation that while God is love, He also has the capacity to hate. He hates sin, and He will judge it with the fierceness of His wrath. This generation is schooled in the teaching about an indulgent, soft-hearted God whose judgments are uncertain and who coddles those who break His commandments. This generation finds it difficult to believe that God hates sin. The following portion of Scripture makes it quite clear where God stands:

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16‭-‬19 ESV)

Scripture then makes it clear of how we should then feel:

Ye that love the Lord hate evil. (Psalms 97:10 KJV)

Love does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. (1 Corinthians 13:6 NLT)

And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. (Jude 1:22‭-‬23 NLT)

When God spoke from Mount Sinai His voice shook the earth, but now He makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.”  This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire. (Hebrews 12:26‭-‬29 NLT)

The following portions of Scripture give us further guidance on how we should not only conduct ourselves in the church, but also in our homes and in society:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1‭-‬7 ESV)

A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but physical discipline will drive it far away. (Proverbs 22:15 NLT)

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:9‭-‬13 ESV)

When one of you (in the church) has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? (1 Corinthians 6:1‭-‬6 ESV)

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. (2 John 1:7‭-‬11 ESV)

Make no mistake that we as individuals that represent Jesus Christ are to love, love, love! But it must be with a ‘true love’! We are not to seek revenge. We are to turn the other cheek. We are to love and pray even for our enemies:

Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. (Matthew 5:38-39, 44 KJV)

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. (Romans 12:14‭, ‬17 NLT)

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21‭-‬22 KJV)

At the same time, what is interesting is the fact that Paul and the other writers of the New Testament made it clear with their warnings throughout the New Testament that any perversion or twisting of the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ was never to be tolerated. We are told to expose it:

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. (Ephesians 5:11 NLT)

Paul was so passionate for the purity of the Gospel that he even had to confront Peter, his own brother-in-Christ:

But when Peter came to Antioch, I had to oppose him to his face, for what he did was very wrong. When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision. As a result, other Jewish believers followed Peter’s hypocrisy, and even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, “Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? (Galatians 2:11‭-‬14 NLT)

The reason I named this article ‘Warped Love’ is because I have witnessed firsthand that so many of us, even within the Church, do not understand what ‘True Love’ really is, as revealed in the Bible. I have been accused of lacking love because of some of the articles I have written on this website where I have been meticulous in rightly dividing the Word of God and have tried my best to present a 360° view of the subjects.

Take a look at two examples from the New Testament where you can say the persons were put to death for what the world misconstrued as lacking love from its warped perspective. The first was Jesus, whom Scripture tells us:

This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Him: “Look at My Servant, whom I have chosen. He is My Beloved, who pleases Me. I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not fight or shout or raise His voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally He will cause justice to be victorious. And His name will be the hope of all the world.” (Matthew 12:17‭-‬21 NLT)

Notice how it says, “He will not fight or shout or raise His voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle.” So how is it that when you go to the Scripture below, that He knocked over the tables of the money changers? It seems like a contradiction, until you concentrate on the next sentence in the Scripture above where it says, “Finally He will cause justice to be victorious.” As you read below you will see how He did not harm anyone. He simply acted in righteousness by disrupting their business and knocking over their tables in His own house, which was supposed to be a house of prayer:

Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Matthew 21:12‭-‬13 NLT)

Less than a week later, He who is ‘LOVE’ and ‘JUSTICE’, freely gave up His life and was crucified:

When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked Him, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave no answer. “Why don’t You talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release You or crucify You?” Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over Me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.” Then Pilate tried to release Him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.” (John 19:8‭-‬12 NLT)

The next person was Stephen. Read the account as Luke records it in the Book of Acts:

You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? That’s what your ancestors did, and so do you! Name one prophet your ancestors didn’t persecute! They even killed the ones who predicted the coming of the Righteous One—the Messiah whom you betrayed and murdered. You deliberately disobeyed God’s law, even though you received it from the hands of angels.” The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!” Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died. (Acts 7:51‭-‬60 NLT)

The last area I want to cover in this article is the difference between ‘helping’ and ‘enabling’. ‘Helping’ is doing something for someone else that they are not capable of doing for themselves. ‘Enabling’ is doing things for someone else that they can and should be doing for themselves. We always have to make sure that our ‘help’ is actually ‘helping’ and not ‘enabling’ instead. God most certainly expects us to be ‘helpful’, but at the same time He expects us to exercise wisdom in the process. Part of that wisdom involves monitoring our ‘help’ to make sure we are not ‘enabling’. Sometimes the very best ‘help’ is a loving and firm “no”. There was something that I could not at first understand when I started doing short term mission’s work in 3rd world countries. The missionaries warned me not to give anything to anyone except through them because they knew who really was in need and who was a ‘user’ who I would be ‘enabling’. The best example in the Bible of ‘helping’ versus ‘enabling’ is the following lengthy instruction Paul gave to Timothy concerning widows:

Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God. Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives. Give these instructions to the church so that no one will be open to criticism. But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers. A widow who is put on the list for support must be a woman who is at least sixty years old and was faithful to her husband.  She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good? The younger widows should not be on the list, because their physical desires will overpower their devotion to Christ and they will want to remarry. Then they would be guilty of breaking their previous pledge. And if they are on the list, they will learn to be lazy and will spend their time gossiping from house to house, meddling in other people’s business and talking about things they shouldn’t. So I advise these younger widows to marry again, have children, and take care of their own homes. Then the enemy will not be able to say anything against them. For I am afraid that some of them have already gone astray and now follow Satan. If a woman who is a believer has relatives who are widows, she must take care of them and not put the responsibility on the church. Then the church can care for the widows who are truly alone. (1 Timothy 5:3‭-‬16 NLT)

We are incapable of fully understanding God’s love and righteousness with our puny minds. For anyone to say. “I don’t think God would do this!” or “I don’t think God would do that!” is actually ludicrous when it stems from their own reasoning. We can only begin to understand our Creator and act in ‘true love’ by turning to His Word, the Bible. Anything outside of that runs the danger of being ‘warped love’.

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About annointing

Defender of the Christian Faith
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