HATE ISN’T THE ONLY OPPOSITE FOR LOVE

What is the opposite of Love? Hate? No.  It’s self-righteousness.  I’ll illustrate with a short story.

THE STORY

Jessica has just gotten divorced and is suffering badly.  Patricia, her friend, feels that she needs to “be a good Christian” as her top priority.  She gets this news from another friend and thinks, “Oh gosh. I know to God it is SO IMPORTANT that we are to Love others.  I’ll need to go visit and maybe bring her a flowering plant or something and tell her that I’m sorry for her suffering and the loss of her marriage. Maybe a card in the mail, too.  I’ll put that on my list for today or tomorrow. This is happening at a very bad time for me because of all the other stuff going on for me.  But, I think I can get it all done.”

Amy, on the other hand, gets teary eyes when she hears the news.  Her heart breaks for Jessica, knowing that she (Jessica) has just had one misfortune after another.  She visits and brings a flowering plant and later sends a card in the mail. And in the days that follow, she just can’t get Jessica off her mind much of the time.

THE POINT OF THIS

Patricia reacts to this news wanting to be diligent to be very kind and Christian in situations where someone is hurting. So, for Patricia, (unknown to her) it’s ALL ABOUT HER, or at least largely, or at least significantly.  She’s trying very hard to be the very, very best person she can be.  She “knows” this is her job.  Just read the Bible! She’s very disciplined to be a good Christian.

Amy, on the other hand, is already a perfect Christian.  This was imputed to her by God Himself the day/moment she believed in Jesus.  And, unlike most Christians, she already knows this – that God has declared her perfectly and permanently righteousness. So, as she received and began to live with Jessica’s bad news, she gave no thought to God’s requirement of her that she be a loving Christian to other people.  This is because she is already PERFECTLY LOVING.  The work to make her so perfect is already entirely done because of the ransom paid by Jesus at his execution.  So, Amy doesn’t need to worry about and work on how SHE’S being in this difficulty.  Her needs are all met.  She doesn’t feel a need to get the good feelings of knowing she had been a good Christian in her handling of this. That work was already done 2000 years ago. So, while Patricia (unintentionally because she hasn’t had a revelation of God’s radical Grace in her life yet) makes this situation quite-a-bit about herself, Amy was free to truly love Jessica without giving thought or priority to “being a good Christian”.   She didn’t need to use this situation as a way to get a boost or a sense of a-job-well-done from herself or from God.  She is already as perfect as Jesus himself.  She believes that.

How do you become an Amy?  Not by trying.  Love is a Fruit of the Spirit that can’t be gained by human effort.  But, you can become like Amy by BELIEVING.  Believing what? By believing The True Gospel of God’s radical grace.  Then and only then can you be truly (but perhaps not perfectly because of our human-ness) loving.  As it turns out, the opposite of Love is self – righteousness, an attempt to establish your own goodness by your own efforts.

Depending what your beliefs about the Gospel are, this may seem confusing or way-wrong to you.  I understand.  I didn’t get this until my 30th year with God.  Read the rest of my blog.  Or read www.escapetoreality.com for a more Imagedetailed explanation on these matters of the Grace of God.

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2 thoughts on “HATE ISN’T THE ONLY OPPOSITE FOR LOVE

  1. ROFL ! that’s a classic! LOVE IT! You’re right, the heathens see what the religious cannot as they/we are blinded by a religious spirit with it’s inherent self-righteousness. Ugh. I fight it ALL the time! I’m a recovering religaholic. IN HIM – IN HIM – IN HIM – is IT

  2. Hi, Skylla – We can know we have it when effortlessly we feel/experience the Fruit growing. Example, just yesterday my wife was walking out the door and I was visibly crying in front of my computer. Like, shoulders heaving up and down. Audible sobs. She asked me what was wrong. I told her that I had just listened to a Carpenters song about never getting to be in love again…ever. Well, my sister has been divorced twice by serial philanderers. When I heard that song, Sis came into my mind and I realized how devastated she really was by 25 years of this and, at 53, she’s now likely facing “never loving again” and the emotional pain that she will likely never find love again. I never really connected with that tragedy in my heart before. I was very religious in that I helped her a lot through all that. But, I never LOVED HER IN THAT PAIN. My heart wasn’t broken for my “failure”. I have no guilt about it but you know why this is so. But I was a blithering cry baby because I suddenly was free to really love her with 1 Cor 13:3 love because I wasn’t using her tragedy as a way for me to feel better about myself.

    This has happened multiple times in various situations recently. My heart has turned back on. It was off and I didn’t know it for many years.

    This is why I know what I believe is True. Because the Fruit is growing like Miracle Grow!!! I’m not trying. I’m just working on believing the real Gospel every day really all day. Everything that is happening to me matches up exactly with what scripture says a believer should experience. in my self-righteous days, I didn’t experience it but had been to not worry about what I feel. Well, guess what? The feelings from living in the Gospel of 100% Grace are strong and precisely lined up with The Word.

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