Human love focusses on not hurting other people’s feelings. It is very concern about the other person’s emotions. Human love rarely confronts anything; it finds many reasons not to. “We will love people into the kingdom” they say. Human love does not deal with sin or the need for repentance or the need to surrender to God. Human love tells people how good they are, how wonderful they are and how amazing their heart is. Human love allows grown men and grown women to live under their parent’s roof rent free, jobless and without helping around the house. Human love allows children to disrespect their parents… after all, their parent’s focus is on making them happy. Amazingly so, the Bible tells us “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24 (NASB) Human love allows our annoying friends to continue to be annoying without any correction. That’s the point, Human love does not correct anything! 

Sadly, Human love is infecting our churches with the excuse of a false unity; “let’s all get alone; lets ignore heresies, lets ignore folks who preach a different gospel and, lets remove anything controversial.” They say. In reality, human love is arrogant because it places the attention on us rather than God; in the “loving” way we do thing compare to others.

God’s love is totally contrary to this human love. God’s love is all those wonderful things we find in First Corinthians 13, but without ignoring two key ingredients:

  1. Love delights in truth: (First Corinthians 13:6): 

Beloved, at the end of the day, you can’t divorce love from the truth; no matter how difficult that truth may be. The Bible tells us that “…ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 (KJV). There is no freedom without truth and there is no love without it either. See, we want to be nice, we want to visit the guys in prison, we want to cloth the naked, feed the hungry and so on, but without verbalizing the gospel what you are doing is not a ministry. 

The gospel is not in the T Shirt you give away, the blanket, the bowl of soup or in the sandwich. Where is the gospel? Romans 10:8 tells us, But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching…” (NASB) Some preachers want to be so sophisticated and so cool that they actually say, “I don’t come to preach.” They believe that their charity and good behavior is all that is needed. If that is so, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates got you beat in charity for sure. 

We must preach the gospel… we must verbalize the gospel; we MUST TELL THE TRUTH! Jesus tells us in Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (KJV) But what some folks are doing is looking for friendship with the world and, when you do that, you become an enemy of God, according to James 4:4.

  • Love disciplines and scourges: (Hebrews 12:6) 

This is the Greek word, paideúō; meaning “To bring up a child, to educate, used of activity directed toward the moral and spiritual nurture and training of the child, to influence conscious will and action. To instruct, particularly a child or youth.[1] In today’s world one thing is truth, nobody want anybody to tell them what to do or how to do it. Satan is making sure that folks have a twisted idea of love, so when they receive love, they can’t even recognize it. The word mastigóō; meaning “to whip, to scourge. Used figuratively of God, meaning to chastise, correct.”[2] Scourge does not sound good either; it is to discipline people into knowing and learning the truth and suffer consequences when they depart from it. This is for their own good, not to harm them, but to bless them.

Jesus died for the truth; the greatest trust of all. He delivered this truth in the perfect way as he himself was perfect… it can’t get any better than that. However, men hated that truth! The apostles suffer tragic death because of that same truth; the earth is filled with the blood of the saints because of that same truth. “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19 (NIV) Yes, we all need to get better in our delivery, in our attitudes, in our walk etc., but at the end of the day you are not loving anybody if you are not telling the truth… love tells the truth. 

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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