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Real Church Love

March 14, 2008

Found this Awesome blog entry today. This is exactly what we have been talking about in Bible Study, and, quite frankly, with a pile of people outside of Bible Study.

Flip Your Switch

by Greg Gilbert

I’ve been doing some work lately on a Sunday School class about what love looks like in the church. It’s been challenging to me on a lot of different levels, but one thought that’s come into my mind again and again is this: We as Christians can very easily become more concerned about whether other people are loving us, than we are about whether we are loving other people.

I know that being and feeling loved are important needs for any human being. That’s how we’re made. But it’s worth noticing, especially in the context of the church, that the Bible’s command is to “love one another,” not “to be loved by one another.” The language is active, not passive.

That ought to set our priorities, and our expectations, in the church. It seems to me that the default position of too many Christians, when it comes to love, is passive rather than active. They’re waiting to be loved, rather than acting to love.

In other words, the switch is set on “intake” rather than “output,” meaning that people spend alot more time analyzing whether they feel cared for, than they do strategizing about how they can care for others. You can see the problem with that pretty easily: If every switch in the church is set on “intake,” most everyone starts to feel like they’re “not being cared for.” But flip all those switches to “output”—change the priority from “being cared for” to “caring”—and see what happens: Love abounds.

I hope and pray that kind of active love increasingly becomes one of my church’s distinctives.

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