Responding in Love
1 Corinthians 13:1 (NLT) “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Words without love are just noise. Even if it’s the truth.
If you don’t speak in love, it doesn’t matter what the conversation is about or how eloquent you are. You will have wasted your breath. It doesn’t matter how right your stance is. If you don’t speak from a place of love, it doesn’t count.
Your message also won’t be effective in getting the other person to listen. It's not about winning debates, it's about winning hearts over to Jesus. We do this by loving people well.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
If I'm going to be kind to another person I have to have a tender heart towards them. I have to realize that they're a person just like me with feelings just like me, with struggles just like me. Even if you don’t see eye-to-eye, you are speaking to a person who God loves.
What about people who attack us?
The Bible tells us to even love our enemies. This way of thinking is so counter-cultural, and it won't make sense to the world. Grace sure doesn't make sense to the world. But, as Christians, Jesus tells us to love everyone.
If you respond to mistreatment with love, you’ll keep the other person from controlling you. You can’t control when another person treats you unfairly. You can control whether you get bitter in the process. You can control your response to injustice.
Just because you respond to an offender lovingly doesn’t mean you continue to allow injustice. On the contrary, we must lovingly seek justice. We must work for justice in the world without retaliating.
Always respond in love.
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