There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us. -1 John 4:18-19
Love is talked about in almost every aspect of culture and society. I’ve found though, that with how much it is talked about and revered, it is not practiced. In everything we do, especially as Christians, it should be in love. Let me clarify something before we go any further. When I say “love” I don’t mean tolerance. There is a huge difference, if you want the definition of these words they are:
an intense feeling of deep affection: -love
he ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with:-tolerance
I do not agree with certain things because of my faith, however, I tolerate them, and I love on people rather than practice hate because of the things I tolerate. I think we have this hellbent passion on making sure that everyone “tolerates” everything. Im sorry, but when my kid grows up, if he cusses in front of me its soap in the mouth or a whipping on the butt. If he decides that he is gay, I will love him anyway but I will not allow him to have boyfriends over unless my husband or I are home.
Just because you love someone does not mean you have to tolerate what they do. However, because of the love of Jesus, we can truly love others. I may sound like a hippie to a lot of people but, love is really all we need. Love is the basis of all good things. Love can overlook so many things. While that isn’t always good, it is a good practice to react out of love rather than emotion.
I have the tendency to really love everyone, but sometimes there are specific people who really press my buttons. If you know me, it takes a lot to press my buttons. However when people do I tend to give them the cold shoulder and act as if they don’t exist. Not like the “I can’t hear you” or “did you hear that” child stuff, Im talking about the “I don’t give a crap what you do” stuff.
It takes everything in myself to turn to that person and have a small conversation with them. In the end, I am so glad that I try to do that because I always feel much better afterwards because I know that God is pleased with how I handled the situation. Showing love is giving any extra food in your car to the homeless you pass, it is texting your friends just to say hi and wish them a good day. Love is genuine friendship, love is not being afraid to call out the things that are wrong or against God.
Love encompasses so much, but I urge you to make sure you aren’t equating it to tolerance because that is not what love is. I won’t “tolerate” my son having bad behavior because he wants candy. I won’t tolerate someone being rude to someone else because of what they believe. I will love my son and make sure he is punished when he should be and I will love my neighbors who believe differently from myself.
Love is all you need.