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The Bible, love, and the truth

January 6, 2013

The truth of the Bible lies not in its commandments but in its relationships. The struggles and brokenness, the fights and dysfunction, the love and forgiveness. Heartbreak. Faithfulness. Betrayal. Compassion. It’s all in there. The truth of every human emotion and passion, and that’s why I am in love with the Bible. It shares the reality of relationships. It doesn’t gloss over or sweep under rugs. That’s the truth we are to learn, to grow into, to be changed by.

God is not calling us to some kind of holy purity for the sake of purity or holiness. He calls us to engage in relationship, to be purified and made whole and holy by relationship. It’s in relationship where we find our most devastating pain, and it’s in relationship where we discover our deepest desires satisfied.

When we cling to commandments at the expense of relationships, we grieve God’s heart because we’ve totally missed the point. Love God and love people. That’s what Jesus said everything boils down to. He also said the laws were made for people not the other way around, but so many act like the laws are more important than people. They don’t get that the commandments were made to help us love. How did we mix it up so badly that we use commandments to shame? Isn’t that why so many people hate the Bible? Because it’s been used to wound them? Used to make them wrong by those who need to be right?

I’ve used the Bible that way. I’ve used it to hurt and shame. To make myself right, because being right is easier than loving. I am ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. I moulded the gentlest, most lovely message into a disgusting and destructive weapon. May I never use it to cut someone again. May I only ever bear witness, never spin or manipulate to serve my own agenda.

May I speak the truth in love because the truth . . . is . . . love.

Love is what is true. And it’s not some kind of bold or harsh love. The truth should not hurt. We all know what true, unadulterated love is like, and it’s not in any way prickly or sharp. So let’s stop fooling ourselves into believing love sometimes has to hurt. It doesn’t. If it does, it’s not truly love. Because love is patient and kind. And that’s the truth.


From → bible, love, spirituality

  1. One thing I would point out is that “loving God and loving others” are also commandments. Jesus boils down the entire law to these two commandments. So, in reality, they’re the uber-laws. And that’s definitely not good news for me, because I don’t love God and love people even close to how I should.

    But the good news for me is that the Bible is a book of law and Gospel. For each time the law says to me, “Do, do, do!”, Jesus says to me, “It is finished.”

    I say this because I spent a whole lot of my Christian life dwelling only on laws like “love God and love people”, instead of daily reveling in the good news that all my unrighteousness had been paid for and I’ve been clothed in the snowy, white righteousness of Jesus. I confused the law (Love God and love people) with the gospel (Jesus has paid my price on the cross, obeyed the law in my place, and rose triumphant on the third day). But Jesus’ message wasn’t just a summary of the law (love God, love people); it was good news to poor sinners like me!

    The law did it’s work to justly condemn me, but I never though of preaching the good news to myself. Of course I sin; I’m a sinner! That’s why I need a savior!

    So, I think I’d say, we cling to the gospel, try to obey the commandments because we love our Savior, and daily evangelize ourselves and others with the news that, yes, even the sins of this very day have been paid for 2000 years ago!

    God bless!

  2. Our hearts seem to be aligned. Here’s a post of my from November.

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