Overemphasis: Love


Can there be an overemphasis of “love”?

I suppose that depends on what the emphasis may be and what defines our understanding and application of love?

Is the biblical definition of love the same as our own understanding of what love is? How much has that understanding been coloured by popular culture and its often romanticised ideas?

Do we believe that all we need is love?
Or should we be more informed by the Bible than by The Beatles?

Have our expectations of love become sentimentalised? And to what extent might that have shaped our expectations of God’s love?

Only a week or two ago I saw letters to the editor in national news papers, in which a significant ignorance of God was demonstrated.  The writers had the all too common understanding that the message of Jesus was all about love and nothing but love, and therefore He was no longer concerned with sin and unrighteousness, that His love makes Him blind to man’s moral short-comings.

I’d suggest that any idea about God’s love somehow nullifying everything else about Him is an idea that overemphasises love.

God’s ultimate act of love – the extraordinarily costly gift of His Son, should show us how seriously God considers mankind’s’ sin. The price for forgiveness and cleansing from sin was not cheap.

Sin is not something that can be brushed aside in the name of some kind of lovey-dovey romanticized sentimentality.

God’s love bled.

Painfully.

 

sacrifice

 

3 thoughts on “Overemphasis: Love

  1. My husband always says that the hippie flower girls of the 60’s were very loving, but they weren’t very faithful. True love is faithful. If our “love” for others causes us to compromise God’s Word, then it is unfaithful to God—and he’s our “first love.” All other love that isn’t subordinate to God’s will is out of order. We are commanded to love, but also to speak the truth. God help us to faithfully stand.

  2. “God’s ultimate act of love – the extraordinarily costly gift of His Son, should show us how seriously God considers mankind’s’ sin. The price for forgiveness and cleansing from sin was not cheap. Sin is not something that can be brushed aside in the name of some kind of lovey-dovey romanticized sentimentality.”

    Good post, Tim. There is a misunderstanding of the nature and character of God, to begin with. God’s most significant attribute is His holiness, not His love. Everything about Him is holy. Therefore, His love is holy, His justice is holy, His mercy is holy, His laws are holy, His judgments are holy, etc.. Isaiah 6:1-3:

    “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train[a] of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another and said:

    “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
    the whole earth is full of his glory!”[b]

    In his book, “The Knowledge of the Holy”, A.W. Tozer begins with this:

    “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God.”

    When I first read that I had to put the book down and ponder the above for awhile……

    So if we do not think rightly about God we won’t get anything right.

  3. Great quote from Tozer, Jeanne, and spot on !

    I think we have to consider all God’s relations with us as manifestations of His love toward us… Jesus certainly First of all. But “The Law” as well: if we believe that The One Who breathed life into us knows the ONLY way of life by which we can share His joy in all He’s created, and know the peace of His Presence.

    It’s love that He desires we have joy and peace, and great love that He tells us the ONE way we will have it: that’s Love, because He didn’t have to.

    Quite a different idea of God than the one even many Christians believe in: the behavioral experimenter who forces his creatures to run the maze blindly, and (perhaps even with some pleasure) zaps them when they make a wrong turn racing toward a “reward” he arbitrarily chooses for them.

    We who believe Him already KNOW the right way. The “zaps” we receive when we turn from it are therefore just, and merciful. We need His reminders that “turning to our own way” (Isaiah 53:6) only leads to death…where we really DON’T want to go. Because the reward He’s set before us is not His arbitrary will for us: we also desire for ourselves lives of peace and joy; and that life unending. They are only accessible to us in the Holy Spirit (also His Love-Gift to us) as a WHOLE (The Kingdom) which includes righteousness (Romans 14:17).

    I have to think of all prophecy, Biblical and current, this way. However fierce and dire God states it, He speaks from His intense love for us (His people Israel or His people the Church), calling His people back to the only way that leads us to life, and peace, and joy.

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