The opposite of love is not to hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.
- Elie Wiesel, US News & World Report, 27 October 1986
This blog post is dedicated to my first cousin, Wanda Lee. Thank you for permitting me to visit with you last weekend in Ashland, Virginia. Thank you for your love and the most wonderful fellowship that we enjoyed. Grace and Peace
I firmly believe with all of my heart, that the most dynamic revolutionary power in the universe is God’s love! Of all of our important human instincts, tendencies, and desires that combine in aiding each of us to be our very best, the Love of God is superior to all the rest.
To test this assertion on my part, I simply wish to pose a very real life reality that I believe all of us can relate to, the type of life of someone who is without the Love of God! What does that look like? What is the long termed outcome of someone living their life without the Love of God?
In an encounter earlier this week, I was in the presence of an elderly woman who was in need of hospitalization for multiple systems failures. After introducing myself to her, I was presented by her with nothing but negative information, apathy, anger, and disappointment. Having the opportunity to hear the initial things that she presented to me, I invited her to communicate to me things that were really troubling her.
As I listened to her heart, she could care less about what was physically wrong with her, nor the required medical test that she needed, she was extremely angry with her daughters who had placed her in a retirement home setting, and that they “did not care about her any longer.” She repeatedly stated that she hated her living situation and that she was all alone. She felt powerless and useless.
What does love look like?
It has the hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has the ears to hear the signs and sorrows of men/women.
That is what love looks like.
As a disciple of The Messiah, and a healthcare professional, I strongly believe that there is an ever-growing percentage of people who are so loved starved and loved deprived that they submit themselves to the medical institutions in our communities, in an effort to get loving support, communication and care that they are without in their home situation.
The lasting fatalistic results of human potential that is devoid of the Love of God as the foundation of one’s purpose and existence is unimaginable and unmeasurable. Such a discussion would require an entire blog post to discuss these undesirable aspects. However, permit me to note just one of the very worst human conditions that are the greatest threat to love and faith, “indifference,” or apathy.
Apathy is most commonly defined as a lack of feeling, emotion, interest, or concern. It is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, and/or passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical or physical life and the general world.
In my personal opinion, and using myself as an example, I sense that our entire culture at times has been conditioned to that of a nation of indifference, and thus I find myself fighting not to become loveless and or concerned about the most important aspects of our humanity, the need of love. I am daily reminded of my own need for the Love of God within my own living.
The Love of God in my life is observable by my daily worship and devotion toward Him for everything. I do this only because I have chosen to respond to His love and His presence over all other types of love that have failed me if not attempted to destroy me. I am capable of love only because God extends Himself to me as my daily portion.
Over my lifetime of abiding in His Love, I now know just when I am not walking in His Love, believe me, I have a lot of practice in this below listing:
- When I am impatient, boastful, arrogant, rude
- When I am unkind, envious, self-seeking, angry
- When I keep a personal tab on those who wrong me.
- When I find myself finding delight in what is evil,
- If I am untruthful, without hope, never finish things that I sat out to do
- If I lack a sense of security failing to provide protection, I am not walking in and with God’s Love!
The Love of God does not force itself upon me, for it has always been kind, as it never covets nor demands obedience, for His Love, will always compel me to look out for the interest and needs of others.
In closing, I wish to only list four important areas of needed growth in the lives of God’s faithful followers during these current times. These elements or spiritual disciplines not only depicts the Love of God but has the powerful impact to impact our culture for Christ.
- Continuous spiritual growth [study of the ethical and practical soul-care disciplines and instructions of the Holy Scriptures, as they are respected in the Christ-centered and Kingdom based foundation.]
- Constant spiritual praise [the individual and community prayer and praise of seeking the face of God daily for direction, while forever remaining depended upon our Creator in all things.]
- Caring for the relational needs of others [spiritual fellowship, sharing and Godly forged healthy personal interactions between the followers in very practical means toward building a stronger community of believers.
- Creative ways of engaging the external culture of the Kingdom. [the loving kindness that God blesses the Body of Christ is never to be an exclusive, centralized nor privatized community. Each loved soul is empowered to effectively impact their circle of people where God has blessed you. As the community of followers commits toward God, God will thus impact the culture via the transformed lives of His people.]
This blog post was inspired by my reading, study, and the meditation of the community life of the 1st-century followers of The Messiah in Jerusalem in Acts 2:42-47.
Grace and Peace