Tag Archives: enemies

Without Love this is all Worthless

Standard

I had already been thinking of writing something about 1 Cor. 13 from a missionary point of view when a friend of mine posted this version that she had saved from her language school days. So I decided to save myself some time and just shamelessly share Cindy’s post.  

The point is that without love, missions is pointless.  I think some of us THINK  we have love, but when that emotion is twisted and broken by culture clash, then we realize that what we had was a sort of romanticization of missions.  We loved the IDEA of being missionaries rather than loving Jesus enough to love fallen humans.  

Love isn’t easy.  If you think it’s easy, you aren’t doing it right.  Jesus said even sinners love those who love them, so what’s the big deal if you do the same?  The really hard thing is to love those who don’t love you back, who hate you and your nationality and your skin color, who don’t want you in their country.  Now that’s real, gritty love.

love you

A GUIDE TO CULTURE (According to 1 Corinthians 13)

If I speak with the tongue of a national, without love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I wear the national dress and understand the culture and all forms of etiquette, and if I copy all mannerisms so that I could pass for a national, but have not love, I am nothing.

Love endures long hours of language study, and is kind to those who mock his accent; love does not envy those who stayed home; love does not exalt his home culture; is not proud of his national superiority; does not boast about the way we do it back home; does not seek his own ways; is not easily provoked into telling about the beauty of his home country; does not think evil about this culture.

Love bears all criticisms about his home culture, believes all good things about this new culture, confidently anticipates being at home in this place, endures all inconveniences.

Love never fails, but where there is cultural anthropology, it will fail; where there is contextualization, it will lead to syncretism; where there is linguistics, it will change.

For we know only part of the culture, and we minister to only part.

But when Christ is reproduced in this culture, then our inadequacies will be insignificant.

When I was in America, I spoke as an American, I understood as an American, I thought as an American, but when I left America, I put away American things.

Now we adapt to this culture awkwardly, but we will live in it intimately. Now I speak with a strange accent, but He will speak to the heart.

And now these three remain: cultural adaptation, language study, and love.

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandoncwarren/4164759025/”>Brandon Christopher Warren</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/Love/”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>CC BY-NC</a>

The Most Dangerous Commandment

Standard

Can you love your enemies?

Can you love the guy who shot up a theater full of innocent people?  Can you love the Al-Qaeda terrorist who blows up a bus full of tourists?  Can you love the coach or the priest who molests children?  Can you love the angry people on the other side of the Chick-fil-A protest?  Can you love the ones who disrupt a military funeral with anti-war chants?  Can you love the drunk driver who tears apart a family with vehicular homicide?  Can you love the “friend” who disagrees with you on Facebook?  Can you love the woman who stole your husband?  Can you love the man who broke your heart?

Jesus commanded us to “Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.”  Many people think of this command as the pinnacle of pacifist doctrine, like the best anti-war slogan you can find.  But it’s not that at all.  This is the most dangerous commandment ever given by Jesus.  Loving your enemies means getting close to the people who WANT to hurt you.  Loving your enemies is dangerous.

It’s going to cost you something.  There will be pain.  There will be tears.  There may be death.

Jesus knew exactly what he was asking you to do… because he did it himself first.  While we were still sinners- enemies of God- in open rebellion against him- Christ died for us.  It cost him something too.

There was pain.  There were tears.  There was death.

And then there was Victory.  Brilliant, Glorious Victory!

The kind of Victory that emptied the bowels of Death came through the One who lead by example.  He loved his enemies and died at their hands.  Even to the end, he asked his Father to forgive them for their ignorance.

It’s going to cost you.  Love your enemies and die to yourself.  Die to your right to Revenge.  Die to your human concept of Justice.  Die to your precious Freedom, your Independence.  Die to your possessions.  Die to your identity.  Die to your job.  Die to your family.  Die to all through Radical, Dangerous Love.