Tuesday, 5 May 2015
Let all that you do be done with love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
Paul wrote extensively in 1 Corinthians 13 about love. In 1 Corinthians 14:1, he admonished us to “follow the way of love.” Now his words expand on our relationships once again by commanding us to “Let all that you do be done with love.” In whatever we do, we should consider love first. But this isn’t the sappy love that is carelessly tossed around by the world at large. Sometimes love involves punishment. It is unloving to allow people to follow paths of self-destruction, to abuse themselves or others, or to leave crimes unpunished.
Love, first and foremost, must be a love of God and of His commandments. If these are followed, then it would be unloving to condone immorality. An example of this is the modern concept of accommodating homosexual behavior and calling it “loving.” This is exactly the opposite of true love. Such behavior results in mental disorders, broken lives, and separation from God which will lead to eternal hell. Therefore, it cannot be “loving” to open the church to this behavior as if it is morally acceptable.
It is unloving towards God to allow capital crimes to go unpunished or to reduce the sentence which is deserved according to His standard. Such actions will only cause others to see and not fear. Society will then inevitably grow more and more brazen and crime will inevitably become worse and more common; such is seen in our society in ever-increasing amounts because we fail to offer godly love which is based on obedience to His commands.
On the positive side of this commandment, we are to show mercy, be gracious, be willing to forgive when asked of it, etc. These are considered loving actions because they are attributes which God also displays. All of who we are should be directed towards godly love as is portrayed in Scripture.
Finally, Paul’s words are above all a note to believers about their relationships with other believers. This then is in line with Peter’s similar thought found in this verse –
“Above all, love each other deeply…” 1 Peter 4:8
Life application: Our command to do everything in love must be taken in a biblical context or our actions will often be anything less than truly loving. Let us abhor sin, not allowing it to enter into our congregations. And at the same time, let us direct our affections towards building others up and being kind and gracious in our dealings with them.
Heavenly Father, Your word tells us that we are to be loving in everything we do. And yet, society has taken this to unintended extremes. It is unloving to allow others to continue to live in depraved or morally wicked ways. What society calls “loving” is often contrary to Your word and can only lead to sadness, death, and hell. Help eyes to open up to the truth of Your love. It is a love which asks us to be holy and to conduct ourselves in a manner which leads to life and an eternity in Your presence. Turn our hearts to true love, O Lord. Amen.