Battling Darkness with Sincere Love
Once again terror and chaos has raised its ugly head, this time in Paris. Let’s face it – this world has shades of darkness, because of sin. Every day, we might come face to face with some heavy selfishness, some deep brokenness, and probably some habitual sinfulness. And on occasion we have moments like what happened in Paris that broadcast the darkness loud and clear.
So, what are we supposed to do? It would be easy to throw up our hands in despair and say, “It’s too much! I simply CANNOT make a difference. I am no Mother Theresa. I am just going to live my life.” Or, we could curse the darkness.
But there is a third way, an ancient path the Apostle Paul laid out in Romans. Let’s take some time to walk through some very practical things in chapter 12 of Romans over the next few devotionals. If we take Paul’s words to heart, we can be the change our society needs, not just in the face of tragedies, but every day.
Love must be sincere. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Verse 9 has some unmistakably powerful images – sincere love, hatred of evil, clinging to good. These are words that are largely missing in our society today.
Sincere love is a life changing force for good. Not to sound like a writer from the DC Comic universe, but sincere love is almost unstoppable. The sincere love of an unknown next door neighbor can literally saved a life, stopped a suicide, and introduce people to Jesus. We simply must learn to slow down, ask real questions, listen intently to the answers, and actually care. This is where sincere love will be birthed from.
Once birthed, sincere love acts a certain way. Sincere love abhors evil and clings to good. Hate does not seem to be in short supply nowadays, whether that is directed to homosexuals or Greensboro Baptist Church or Barack Obama or Donald Trump. This hatred misses the point though. Rather than thinking large and speaking judgment, we should think small and be sincere.
Make no mistake – if you claim Christ, those who don’t are watching the way you live your life, and looking for a reason to believe it or not. The consistency of your love life with them will determine the answer. It’s the simple things that will make the difference.
When you ask how their day is going, do you actually listen to the answer, or do you shine them on just like everyone else? Do you ever ask how their family is doing? Do you even know if they have a family? Do you care?
It might not seem like these questions are related to abhorring evil or clinging to good, but they are in a very real way. God never intended for us to live selfish isolated lives, focused on our own needs, our own jobs, our own families, our own selves.
Whatever we can do to jar others out of this self-focus is GOOD, and forces the focus toward community, toward God. We will talk more about how to live out this type of life in this dark world in a meaningful way in the coming devotionals.