The preeminence of love and understanding

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Love understands.

Part of loving someone is to attempt to understand them. If someone who is opposed to Christianity for whatever reason determines that you are seeking to understand them for no other reason than to know them better, they will feel loved.

And this will be a whole new feeling for many people who have had contrary experiences with impatient, dogmatic Christians.

To have a Christian genuinely try and understand a person with an opposing argument or a rival world religion just to understand them, not change them – that would be new.

The problem with evangelicalism for as long as I can remember is that doctrine has always been paramount. Believing right is more important than believing. Anyone with another belief or worse yet, an atheist, is seen as either a threat or an enemy. The only option with such a person is to correct them. In this thinking, being right is more important than anything including being loving. So the only option with someone of opposing or differing belief systems is a sort of stalemate protected by a guarded distance. Any meaningful encounter with such a person must include furthering the Christian agenda in some manner in order to overcome what is wrong about what they believe. If after repeated attempts, you get nowhere, then the relationship is usually unproductive and not worth wasting your time.

Truth of the matter is, a relationship where love and understanding prevail is more likely to reach the desired evangelical goal than an argument, but  hesitate to even point that out because that makes love and understanding a means to an end when it is not.

God saves people; we don’t.

God changes people; we don’t.

God loves people; we do too.

God honors people; we do too.

God understands people; we try to.

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3 Responses to The preeminence of love and understanding

  1. Sandie says:

    Why do we find it so hard to extend the same grace we receive daily through Jesus? In fact we get outright greedy about hoarding it for ourselves; like we did something to deserve it. Like the manna the Israelites tried to hoard in the wilderness, grace will rot and not be fit for use. Grace will shrivel and die within us, causing us to be judgmental and bitter. We need to cut each other (and sometimes ourselves) the same break and chance(s) to try again that Jesus affords us every single second of every single day…forever and ever…AMEN! Now to practice what I preach….

  2. Mark D Seguin says:

    Loved Today’s Catch!

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