Warning: We’re Losing by Not Using Love

I’m enjoying Brennan Manning’s audio book Abba’s Child. Besides helping us understand the security we have in being Abba’s child, he challenges us to live like Christ. I found one story especially poignant.

Manning and his wife were strolling together when a young woman carrying flowers approached them.

“Are you a follower of Sun Myung Moon?” He asked her.

She was. Knowing she was selling flowers to support a cult with false teaching, Manning said, “Your zeal for what you believe puts many Christians to shame.”

“Are you a Christian?” the young woman asked.

“Yes, we are,” he answered.

The woman dropped her head. When she finally looked at him, tears streaked her young face. “You are the first Christians who’ve spoken kindly to me. Most yell at me. One woman hit me over the head with her Bible.”

How tragic, especially since Jesus said the world would know we are Christians by our love. If that is how we treat those we meet in the world is it any wonder they are not interested in our Jesus?

At a recent event, Marty Goetz echoed this pattern. During his concert, he raised a question that has puzzled me. “Have you ever wondered why Jews are usually politically liberal since conservatives traditionally support Israel and Judeo-Christian values?

Marty is a messianic Jew, so he understands how Jews think. Born and raised an orthodox Jew, he naturally ran from Jesus. But one night, Jesus captured his heart. He now uses his music to tell of Him.

Marty continued, “They are afraid of Christians because of how Christians have historically mistreated Jews.”

I hope these examples disturb you as they do me. How could this happen? What can we as Christ’s ambassadors do to change this?

Three Problems

(Please excuse the wacky formatting. It won’t cooperate!)

  • Not everyone who wears the tag “Christian” knows Jesus.
  • Love—not dynamic ministries or biblical knowledge—is the hallmark of true faith in Jesus. “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8, NIV).
  • 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
  • True believers can operate out of the flesh instead of from the Spirit.
  • A sign of this is when we care more about being right than being loving.  “19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: … 20 hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions…22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love,” (Gal. 5:19-22, NIV).
  • “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ…You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3, NIV).
  • The god of this world spins lies.
  • The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4, NIV).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Larry and I heard David Jeremiah speak this week in Raleigh. He said the media showed up the morning after the Supreme Court voted to legalize same-sex marriage to ask what he thought. He said, “You’ve known me for a long time. You know what I believe. But I’d rather be known for what I’m for, not what I’m against.” He went on to talk about the blessing his wife and family were to him. The evening news wrongly portrayed him as being mean-spirited.

One Solution

Jesus said that what we do to the “least of these” we do to Him. Who are your “least of these”? Manning says, “The way we treat them, we treat Him.”

May they know we are Christians by our love.

Click here to comment.


Debbie W. Wilson


Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging.

Sometimes I link to the following great sites: #TestimonyTuesday, #Titus2Tuesday, #IntentialTuesday, #TuesTalk, #Tell it to me Tuesdays, #w2wwordfilledwednesday, #Wedded Wednesday, #Women with Intention,  #LivefreeThursday, #WordswithWinter, #Grace and Truth

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  1. Stephanie sudano

    Thank you for a wonderful blog! It is surprisingly easy to fall into not loving as Jesus calls us to.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Stephanie!

  2. Ann

    Debbie this is the bottom line – He IS Love and we are His children. Just like people recently told me how much I reminded them of my earthly dad, I so want everyone I meet or interact with to see the family resemblance with my Heavenly Dad and that means expressing love in all its forms. Beautifully done.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh, Ann. You said it well, “God IS love. ” And to hear, “I can tell you belong to Him,” is the highest compliment.

  3. Nancy

    What a beautiful reminder of what love should look like. This hit home! Why let the circumstances dictate who we are? Let the one who holds us in the palm of His hand remind us of who we are in Him and love will automatically overflow from us. Thank you for this post and all the many posts which have spoke directly to my heart! You are a beautiful instrument in the hands of the Redeemer.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Nancy. What sweet encouragement! Bless you.

  4. Jamie @ Medium Sized Family

    Wow, there is a lot of food for thought to chomp on in this post. We can choose kindness, even with the people who believe in things completely opposite of our own beliefs.

    • Debbie Wilson

      You got it, Jamie. Honey attracts more than vinegar!

  5. Ellen Chauvin

    Debbie, very thought provoking and convicting! Yes, Lord, may Your love always shine through us!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Ellen. Manning’s story convicted me too.

  6. Pam

    Hi Deb!
    These are great truths! If we could keep this securely in our memory bank, we would be better examples of Him AND we would be less disillusioned with brothers and sisters wearing the label “Christian” without looking for evidences of the right ingredient list.
    Blessings on your day!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Pam. God bless you too!

  7. Claire

    Just read your article today and started crying. Been very emotional lately. Have lost 3 family member since 03/31/15 and the grief is overwhelming at times. I pray…a lot. But oftentimes feel God has abandoned me and have even doubted His existence over the past several months. I’m not looking for sympathy, I just want the paid to lessen. I’ve been praying for many things but one of the most important is that God will place Christians my life again….or that He will put me on a path where I can once again feel useful/needed. Sorry, don’t mean to ramble. But I did want to thank you for the work you do and the stories you share. They are a blessing to the lost and lonely and I hope you continue your work of reaching out to others in need. Thank you so much!


    • Debbie Wilson

      Claire, I’m so sorry for your losses—three in such a short time. I have written some blogs on grief you can find in the search bar. Often grief hits hard in 3 month intervals during the first year. May the Lord wrap His arms around you and let you know He will never leave you or forsake you. God bless.

    • Meg

      Claire, I’ll join you in that prayer. Your tender heart is not going unseen. I pray strength for you to persevere. Grief is like tides in the ocean, it ebbs and flows naturally and won’t be rushed by anyone. Please be patient with yourself, and above all, take it to God without feeling the need to “clean things up”. He’s a big God – he can take it. Hugging you cross-computer and know you’re not alone!

  8. Deb Wolf

    Yes! This is something that upsets me so much. Your three problems are spot on. We won’t ever be perfect, but oh how I pray we will make love our goal. I believe with the Spirit’s help we can. So glad we’re neighbors today at Woman to Woman. Blessings!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Deb! I enjoyed your post on “hope.”

  9. Mary Dolan Flaherty

    wow, that’s Jesus in action. We ought to all aspire to be like Manning…and ultimately, like Jesus! Thanks for sharing this today.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I agree, Mary. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  10. Beth

    I just visited Mary Geisen’s blog and she was sharing her thoughts from the Allume blogging conference about how we are to be like a choir–joining together our voices in harmony to the masses. I resonated with this thought because I feel there is some sense of competition among bloggers–fearing their voice will be drowned out by others. But you talk here, Debbie, about how our voice should reflect love as believers. And I agree that if we are living out the love God gives us, we would be not only known for what we are “for” like David Jeremiah so eloquently stated, but known as a beautiful choir that inspires the world to listen! Thanks for your amazing thoughts here, my friend! I always love visiting your blog and love singing next to you in the “choir!”

  11. Debbie Wilson

    Beth, I love the picture of a choir singing in harmony! Yes, let’s stand shoulder to shoulder and sing of His wondrous love!

  12. Meg

    Wow Debbie, this one caught my breath today. We certainly will be known by our love. I’m both saddened and moved by your post today. Thank you.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Meg. And thank you for reaching out to Claire.

  13. Trisha Rush

    This is so good. I found you from #livefreethusday. Thank you for sharing your heart on this!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks for visiting, Trisha. Have a wonderful weekend!

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