Frail and faltering follower of Jesus

Love Versus Flattery

By Gavin Davies

The people who have loved me in my life aren’t those that have flattered or blindly “affirmed” me. They’ve told me straight.

‘Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ Mark 10:21. In love, Jesus put a pin right in the sin of that rich young man’s life.

I don’t think this passage is about abject poverty as a virtue (e.g. Zaccheus, reborn to generosity, didn’t give away EVERYTHING, and Jesus had some wealthy women patrons who supported His ministry) but it was going to the core of what that guy held on to as his store of value. That doesn’t get us off the hook - we should all give sacrificially - but most critically, we should submit as Christ’s Word pinpoints our sin and works conviction in us. The change is painful, but it’s REAL love.

Let us love one another; be our eye clear of beams, then tell me straight and clear where I’m wrong.

“First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.” - Matthew 7:5b.

It was thus from the start:

“Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.” - Leviticus 19:7.

Love is not what this world says it is. It does not blindly affirm us. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Cor 13:6.

And who is ultimately truth? Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. The standard is also the saviour!