Three Increasingly Useless Words
Now, before I get into this. I do not mean that these words are useless to everyone. I am saying that at one point in time, they used to be packed with meaning by the majority of the population. Unfortunately, in our American society…they have become pretty much useless. I also realize that this could be highly offensive to a lot of people. However, I think back to a time in my life when this would have highly offended me…that is when I needed to hear this the most. So, here we go.
In fourteen years of teaching, I have witnessed the decline of this word. I think I was 16 before I ever used it. Even then, I didn’t have a clue what love really was. Today, I will watch a middle school “couple” get “together” and immediately their notebooks are covered with “I love ________.” The signature on their text messages become “I ❤ ______.” They are in “love.” I’m pretty sure that I have seen one person be in “love” with 6 different people within a single school year. The word “love” is used today for “just starting a relationship.” Is it any wonder that telling someone that treats love like this that “God loves you” does not move them whatsoever? Love should be reserved for marriage…at least reserved for the moment that you are going to ask for the lady’s hand in marriage and make that lifelong commitment. The Bible says that love is PATIENT…it should be quite a while in a relationship before it gets thrown out there. An even greater definition of love…For God DEMONSTRATED His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:8. He loved us before we even had a clue what love was. Even though I didn’t love Him…He loved me. He didn’t just SAY it…He demonstrated it on the cross! To the best of my human ability, I want to love Him back…and not just say it, but demonstrate it.
We have come to see church as the building that you go to. One has MANY, MANY choices of churches to attend. Jesus said that He would build His church on a statement made by the Apostle Peter…”You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” — Matthew 16:16. Jesus said that the church would always stand, and death would never prevail against it. The church is made up of every man and woman of every race and culture that has accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts and lives. It really has nothing to do with a building. A person joins the real church, the body of Christ, by accepting Him as your Lord and Savior. If the word really meant something, we would say “are you a part of the church?” as opposed to “where do you go to church?” I have asked this question, too…I’m not saying it is bad. It just doesn’t mean what it should mean.
Christians were first called “Christians” at Antioch — Acts 11:26. The Biblical definition of a Christian is one who followed the WAY of Jesus Christ. It is simply a person who has dedicated his or her life to being as Christ-like as they possibly can. I read of a rich man who sold everything he had and gave it to the poor. He was arrested and beheaded, without trial, because he “must have been a Christian,“ others just don’t do things like this. If you are on Facebook, and you are a true follower of Christ, change your “Religious Views” to “In Love with Jesus Christ.” I see the word “Christian” plastered there all the time. Then, I will see direct references in their status lines to partying by getting drunk, using drugs, having sex with boyfriends/girlfriends, cussing, spewing hatred towards others, and the list goes on. Now, I can hear it now…”YOU DON’T GET TO JUDGE ME!!!” Honestly, I think you’re wrong. If you don’t claim to be a Christian, I don’t get to judge you. If you aren’t a Christian and don’t claim to be, then act any way you want. However, if you honestly claim Christianity, you KNOW all the things I just mentioned are SINS. Not “mistakes“, not “accidents,“ not “stuff I‘m struggling with,”…SINS! Repent, and go forward in your relationship with Christ because I guarantee you that it has stalled. Read John 6:66, when things got hard for those who followed Christ, when they realized it would actually cost them something “many of his disciples walked away and followed Him No more!“ This is why I would like for followers who are all the way in to put “In love with Jesus Christ,” because John 14:15 says “If you LOVE ME, you will obey what I command!” Jesus says that people who LOVE Him obey the word…not out of religious obligation…but out of genuine love for the one who gave His life that they might be FREE from sin, and spend eternity with Him! Does it mean they are perfect? By no means! Does it mean they are all the way in? Absolutely!