Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Transforming Love

Jesus told us that the world would know we are His followers by the way we treated each other and our neighbors. His message was different than any other before him. He knew that people would have to see the difference in the lives of those who said they followed him. Talk is cheap and the religious people of his day did a lot of talking about being righteous. Their talk did not fool anybody. The common people knew the religious leaders were corrupt and made themselves rich off the backs of the common. Their hypocrisy made them impotent in any type of modeling the message of God, excepting the separation issue. In the O.T God seemed distant and judgemental. Generations could pass without a fresh voice and message from, The Great I Am. The religious leaders were distant and out of touch.

Jesus demonstrated the character of His Father. The way He interacted with society was transformational. He willingly placed his hand on the leper, becoming unclean himself. He knew the life of the leper was more important than misunderstood and misused commandments. The demonstration of divine love divided the onlookers. Jesus seemed to do that. Another occasion of note was when Jesus defended the woman caught in adultery. The question was not her guilt. The point was the self righteous attitude and actions of the men who were ready to stone her. His words cut to the heart of the men with stones in their hands. Beginning with the most aged and experienced, they dropped their weapons. I wondered at times if some of the men wanted her dead because she knew them. Alone with the woman Jesus, didn't let her get off free. In a conversation between sinner and savior, He told her to go her way and, sin no more.

Love that transforms the recipient is in desperate need today. There are millions more people in the world today who need to be touched by love than even in the days of Jesus. Now, most of us, myself and readers, really believe we love people the way Christ desired. Many of do indeed love in that degree. I want to tell you what I think we need to know and experience to really display transformational love.

Understand and admit what hinders us. There may be many barriers that hinder us from loving in a transformational way. I will name just a few and expand upon them later. Fear can be a powerful barrier to loving people in a way that transforms. Fear cripples the soul and spirit. It can be like a force that freezes the willingness to do. Prejudice is another force that hinders. Prejudice that comes from ignorance is much easier to overcome than prejudice that is taught and then practiced. Active prejudice must be dealt with strong teaching and a receptive heart. Another hindrance is social standing. Some people simply think they are better than other members of the world. Oh, they won't tell you that they are above or better, but anybody can tell. A Christian caught in this trap of selfrighteousness and pride can be the most difficult follower to empower with transformational love. Hypocrisy seldom views itself in a clear mirror.

The next post will continue to explain my view on spiritual hinderences to loving in a transforming way. I will conclude with thoughts on how we can overcome barriers and that non of us are totally innocent.


  1. Jesus loved the people but not the sin , He wanted them to repent and do that sin no more . No one shoild throw rocks becouse we would all be hit becouse none of us are with out sin . We need to set our goal to be Christ like and strive to be like Christ everyday .

  2. Philip Yancey had some interesting things to say about ovecoming prejudice since he was raised in the south and taught in church that African-Americans were inferior and needed to be kept separate. A long journey for him.