Looking at social media posts, news articles and current events can cause us to have a worldly filter for what is going on instead of seeing these things through God's eyes. Love is often the missing ingredient in how we interact with those around us. The love we need is God's love. Love is the greatest commandment; to love God and love others (Matt. 22:37-39).
If someone at church comes up to you and belittles you or gossips about you, there is usually something else going on besides the surface level discussion. People are propelled by their past, both good and bad. Hurt, trauma, mental challenges and even demonic oppression can be hiding under the surface in ways that are not immediately apparent when dealing with a situation. It's similar to if you had a serious health problem, yet you mask it by just taking high doses of Advil without dealing with the root of the issue. Love gets to the root!
The Bible says that "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18b). Love allows us to see people as God sees them. His love is never ending and yet our love is limited. We must stay connected to our source, Jesus and His Word, in order to have our mind renewed daily. Hurt people hurt people. Jesus commanded that we should turn the other cheek not so that we could be taken advantage of but so that love would prevail in the midst of an easily escalated situation.
Shawn Bolz says that we are wired to hear from God. Discernment is important in making decisions that honor God; however, we cannot just make good decisions in our own knowledge. We must be connected supernaturally, and Shawn clarifies that we can understand things in our natural eyes or even spiritual truths without understanding what is in God's heart. We need to stay connected daily to the source.
Christians who condemn without showing love may lose their witness to unbelievers. Shawn says we often place strict elderlike restrictions on people just coming to church, which will often result in them getting turned away from the gospel. The church should be a hospital for sinners, and if we do not show others the love of the Father, we could lose our witness and influence in their lives. Of course, there are times when we need to disciple and discipline in the church, but this comes out of relationship.
Truth partnered with love is a vital combination for all Christians. Most of what you see from Christians on social media may be truth but not love. How can you show love online to someone with whom you are not in relationship? It's hard. If you have a seat at the table of someone's life, then you have a responsibility to show them love and even bring up the hard topics. Those looking on the outside in will not come to Christ because of the "rules" associated with the Bible. They will come to Christ because of His love which fills the hole in our hearts to be known and loved by our Creator.
Listen to the full interview with Shawn Bolz on Everyday Discernment with Tim Ferrara on Charisma Podcast Network now.
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