Learning to Love Backwards

Backwards Arrows

When you are vulnerable and helpless, that’s when it becomes crucial who comes into your life. Once you’re under someone else’s care, the reality that life and death is ultimately not under your control comes to the surface. It’s good to have that light bulb switched on so that you have enough courage to face death. That way, when pain arrives and it’s sorrows spring out like rivers, you will not be given over to complete waywardness, but resolve in the holiness of Christ.

This Devotional is more of a supplement to my previous blog: Cell With an X. We’re going to check out two passages of scriptures for the sake of study. The interesting thing about this is that we will be doing this backwards. You’ll understand why shortly.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in the world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 Jo 4:16-18 ESV

Now I’m going to need or you to get your penny loafers and white socks ready because we’re walking backwards here.

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 Jo 2:15-17 ESV

One, two, twist, kick, turn! Spin around! Glide! That’s it! Now let’s go ahead and start thinking about the passages.

Points to Consider

  • How perfect is YOUR love? Have you felt God’s Supreme Love towards you?
  • What type of fear is appropriate with love? What needs to be put away?
  • If perfection is complete, how should one love the world and its components?
  • Is lust inherently evil? How would you define godly lust?
  • Note the phrase: but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
    To what extent will the present world always remain? How does this inform the believer in engaging in ‘worldliness’?

Final Take

These points need to be addressed because there are quite a few brothers and sisters in Christ who take inferences from these passages for granted. In one corner, we have people who conflate practicing social justice as a gospel antagonistic to the mission of Christ. On another corner, there are Christians who view any type of worldliness against the mandate to holiness. And yet another corner presumes that there is no sin and that we can do whatever whenever we want. All of these takes are half-truths that have unfortunately been perpetuated in Christendom for centuries. And it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. It is humbling to have to sit down with people and go WORD for WORD to show richness of meaning and reveal what the Scriptures are ACTUALLY saying as opposed to what people merely THINK it is saying. Context and nuance is KEY. And as we progress in learning more about the TRUTH of God’s Word and His will in our lives, we’ll be disciplined in a way that reflects Him according to His faithfulness. Remember no matter what good you do in this world, those who don’t understand or hate you will have something negative to say.

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