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Loving Others Without Conforming

Christians are being seen as hypocritical because we are not inclusive with others of opposing political, religious, or moral beliefs, with the “justification” that Jesus said to love all people. However, the Bible also says in Romans 12:2 to “not be conformed to the world…” Colossians 2:8 uses even stronger language: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit…”

Loving others does not mean to participate in practices or lifestyles that are not in conformity to God’s truth. The problem, though, is that if Christians refuse to go along we are viewed as unloving. Roman’s 12:9-21 begins by saying, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” Then later in this passage it says, “Outdo one another in showing honor.” How does a person reconcile these two sides? It has to do with how one defines true love. Romans 12 lists 20 traits of true love, too numerous to mention here (I suggest you read it for yourself), none of which say anything about condoning or participating in what another does, or how he or she lives life, contrary to God’s truth.

Jesus interacted with people that no one else wanted anything to do with, but he did not condone what they did, nor their lifestyle. Rather, it was the desire of Jesus for “all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth”(I Timothy 2:4).

So, how do people love others without conforming to their beliefs or lifestyles? One, begin by following the example set by our Savior, Jesus. Two, we can exhibit the qualities listed in Romans 12 and I Corinthians 13:4-7. I will summarize them for you: “Bless those who persecute you…rejoice with those who rejoice…weep with those who weep…show honor to others…live in peace and harmony…meet material needs (Romans)…be patient and kind…is not irritable or resentful…does not insist on its own way”(I Corinthians). These passages tell us that Christians should love, respect, and value others in the light of God’s grace, and we don’t have to go along with opposing views to do so. We can be givers. We can be there for them in times of deepest needs, as a true friend. By doing this, they will know that we sincerely love them even though we do not agree with their beliefs or how they are living their lives.

About John Clark

John Livingston Clark is 74 years of age and lives in central Washington State. He has written two published books, and two published poems. His initial book is called, " God's Healing Hope: Breaking the Strongholds of Wrong Thinking." His second book, released in December of 2016, is a motivational book written to seniors titled, " Seniors: Are You Retiring or Recharging?" Both books are available on amazon. You can also view his writings on www.faithwriters.com. His “Poem For Senior Citizens” is in the 5th spot on FW.

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