Love…..the elusive christian attribute

The Church is known for many things. One of the things it is not known for is love. Yet God’s love is what Christ personified and the  writers of the New Testament emphasized over and over again.

Love God….love others

All men will know that you are my Disciples

if you love one another

…the greatest of these is love

love covers a multitude of sin

Over and over again love is stressed as the default mode of the Christian. It is what will set us apart from the world. It is a love we have for people that has no bounderies, no strings, no expectations.  It is what will draw people to the church, not our fancy programs, lighting, stage presence or promotional materials. It is real, tangible love.

People in the world are looking for this love.  There is no unconditional love in the world. There is no place a person can go and feel accepted and loved.  There is no club, no group, no organization that does not place expectations on the individual in order to be accepted, to fit in.

The church is suppose to be this place. This is what should make the church stand out in the world.  Not it’s moral stand, not the length of skirts, hair, lists of do’s and don’ts, not it’s judgemental attitudes. The church is suppose to be the vessel, the purveyor of God’s unconditional love in Christ.

Why is this so hard to understand…..why is it so elusive?

My heart breaks.

9 thoughts on “Love…..the elusive christian attribute

    1. unconditionally loving someone brings change, never the other way around. God did not expect anything from us when He saved us, but the result is that we do change because we are awed by His love.

  1. But loving someone is not the same as expecting nothing.
    One can love someone and still expect them not to pull the wallpaper down (as my dear parents can attest) and give them a good telling off if they do start pulling at the wallpaper (as my dear parents can attest!). It is even possible to love someone and regretfully shun them if their behavior is too disruptive.

    I think it is unfair to assume that expectations and standards of behavior mean that people lack love. Love means to will what is best for someone, not to allow them to do whatever they will.

  2. I think the problem with expectations is that the vast majority of us are way to quick to create our OWN expectations of someone; rather than take the whole counsel of God that expresses a progressive sanctification is occurring in everyone. We are not all at the same place, nor do we all wrestle with the same sins, nor have the same gifts, talents, etc. So forgive the bluntness but the moment you start expecting something specific (dress, hair, politics, etc) you’re probably focusing on yourself rather than the other person.

    The wallpaper analogy can stand – but it’s much different for someone who is addicted to wallpaper than someone who never was, oro who has gotten over it.

    The only things we can safely expect from others according to scripture’s POV (IMHO) is they profess Christ as Lord, and Show fruit. What kind and how much is not for us to say.


  3. Mark, I can remember my former in-laws spending every night of their adult lives in a dark, dingy, South Buffalo bar. At the time I looked down on them because of my “expectations” of what “good parents” should be! But in my rush to judgment I failed to see something, in that depressing place they were accepted, respected, and welcomed. It wasn’t just booze that was drawing them there night after night, it was “fellowship”, “kinship”, a shared history with people who knew their heartaches, their joys, their struggles. I am sad to say that there was more “church” going on there than most of the places I have spent my Sunday mornings over the past 23 years. I now wish I could feel some of what they experienced all those years!

  4. I think the world has perverted love and few people (including Christians) can properly define love…Biblically.

    Love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, is not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices with the truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, LOVE NEVER FAILS.

    We have failed others and others fail to believe in love.

    Our church is doing a “Summer of Love” series to clarify the elusive attribute of the Church. I’m excited but also disheartened that we now need to teach each other what love is and how to do it.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. It is a sad state that the church is in, when rather than love being the defining difference, it needs to be “taught” instead.
      I am intrigued with the idea that your church is doing on the “summer of love” and would love to hear more.
      peace and grace to you…
      marc lee

  5. @ Sophia. My dear, what has God expected of you except that you love. How is it that you seem to have more expectations of your fellows than God has of you? There is no greater commandment than to love God with your whole heart, mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself.

    @ Mike: A resounding AMEN!

    All about the unconditional love.

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