“Don’t you think we need more love in society?” Amen. We need people showing more common courtesy in dealing with one another (1 Peter 3:8). We need people being more understanding with those who do not communicate fluently in a particular language. We need people to be less self-centered and give serious consideration to the needs and feelings of others, too. Yes, we could us a whole lot more love in society.
“Don’t you think we need more love in our homes?” Amen. We need husbands that will act like real men and love their wives like Jesus loved His church (Ephesians 5:25). We need wives who will, in turn, love their husbands (Titus 2:4). We need parents who will disciple their children lovingly (Hebrews 12:5-9). No doubt, many families are struggling due to a lack of love.
“Don’t you think we need more love in the church?” Amen. When a sister in the Lord is overtaken in a trespass and the other members of the local church are too busy with their own affairs to even notice her struggles, and as a result they put forth no effort to help and restore her, then, yes, more love is needed (Galatians 6:1,2). If a disagreement occurs between two Bible class teachers over which topics should be taught during the next quarter, and their method of dealing with the situation is to scream at one another in a meeting and begin to bring up the mistakes that the other made fifteen years ago, then, yes, we need more love.
When it comes to demonstrating brotherly kindness and love (2 Peter 1:7), each of us is a work in progress, with plenty of room to grow. Do you recall what Paul wrote to “the church of the Thessalonians” (1 Thessalonians 1:1), a local church that probably had been in existence one year or less when he penned his first epistle to them? “But concerning brotherly love . . . you yourselves are taught by God to love on another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:9,10). Thus, Paul urged them to increase in love. When he wrote a second letter to them, he noted that “the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other” (2 Thessalonians 1:3). What a beautiful sight it is to see the saints of God demonstrating brotherly love in their lives! Yes, individual disciples and congregations of God’s people need to strive to grow in their love for Him and one another.
Having agreed that in society, in our families, and in our dealing with fellow saints there are areas in which we need to mature in our love, there is another side of the “We need more love” statement that needs to be considered. If we have agape love for others, then we have their best interest at heart, meaning that we care about them and want what is best for them in matters of their spiritual and physical health. Such love will cause us to speak and take action, though at times our love-motivated words and acts may be misunderstood or rejected.
Some actions are not the loving course to follow. It is not loving to support sinful lifestyles. Yes, we love the wrongdoers, but we dare not endorse and uphold their evil. The Bible says that drunkards, homosexuals, and others will not inherit God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9,10). No emotional appeal can change what God’s word says about such matters. God, Who is love (1 John 4:8), gives us a message of love about the kind of lives that He wants humans to live. Because that is true, it is not hateful to tell others what our Lord says about any activity.
It is not loving to endorse false teaching. The truth makes people free (John 8:32), while the commands of men cause worship to be in vain (Mark 7:7-9). False teachers destroy the flock of God (Acts 20:39-31), so it is not in the best interest of the sheep to uphold or ignore false teaching. Multitudes who believe in the deity of Jesus teach that a lost person is saved by praying to Jesus and confessing his sins. It is not so! The Bible’s message is that a lost person must obey the gospel (Acts 2:36-41), not pray a “Sinner’s Prayer.” Shall we open our pulpits to those who teach falsely about salvation so they can influence the flock with their deadly poison? Surely that would not be the loving thing to do.
It is not loving to hide the truth from those who need it. Jesus said that He rebukes and chastens those whom He loves (Revelation 3:19). Listen. If you choose to quit serving the Lord faithfully, then just be honest and say, “I am a quitter.” Do not point a finger at the Lord’s church and say you are going back to the world or some denomination because there is more love there. God is insulted by such remarks and so are His faithful servants.
— Roger D. Campbell