Monday, January 10, 2011

Less Isn't More

As a rule, I try not to use my blog as a platform. I want to write about the world as I see it, not lecture or preach. But tonight I learned a lesson, one that stung me a little bit, convicted me, and encouraged me.

I go to a women’s Bible group on Monday nights. Jeremy and I are currently church “orphans”; that is, we don’t attend any specific church regularly. In lieu of a church home, I go here (In the title banner, I'm the second set of feet from the left). I’m not usually a fan of large groups of women- they make me nervous. Not this group. We are a group full of mothers, sisters, daughters, all meshed together into friends. It’s like going to a weekly mini-sleepover. Tonight one of my good friends spoke on love. I don’t recall the actual title of her message, and I’m not sure I 100% remember all of it, because the first part of it hit me so hard. She opened up with the verse in 1 John 4: God is Love. It’s not what He does. It’s who He is- scratch that- it’s not who He is, it’s what He is. He can’t not love us. It’s against His nature. Just like I can’t not be human. It’s what I am. It’s impossible for God to love me more than He loves anyone else. Vice versa. Because that would imply that He loves less. And for God, to love less is to hate. There is no less. There’s only love.

It gets better. Or worse. In that same chapter of 1 John (verse 20), is the part about loving your brother. You can’t love God and hate your brother. Well, everyone knows that. I don’t hate anyone. Duh. But then she reminded me: With God, there is no loving less. Loving less equals hate. So... who have I loved less?


I pride myself (in a good way) on being a non judgmental person. I don’t care about your political views, your sexual orientation, your theological persuasions, your lifestyle. None of that matters to me. I don’t judge. If the judging feeling ever creeps up in the back of my head, I nip it in the bud before it can take root. Who in the world am I to judge? I’ve earned more than my share of blame. I’ve been judged more harshly than I deserve by those who have no right, and forgiven more times than I can count by the One who has the right to strike me down. Who am I to judge?

But... who have I loved less?

Those ignorant kids that walk across the busy intersection by the Greyhound station, and glare at me the whole time, daring me to hit them with my car. I’ve loved them less.

The “church” people who have wounded and scarred me with their words, their actions, and their assumptions. I’ve loved them less.

My former neighbor, the alcoholic who would wander over to my house to talk to Jeremy, who Jeremy ministered to even, and who I always locked the door on out of fear. I’ve loved him less.

So I guess I should change my self righteous “Who am I to judge?” mantra into a new, humbler one: “Who am I to love less?”

I hope I haven’t preached. I hope I’ve preached at myself, mostly. And I hope I don’t forget that less doesn’t always equal more.

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