When it comes to what’s most important, Jesus was clear: Love God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself (Mt. 22:36-40).
In order to love our neighbors these days, a lot of Christians are feeling like they have to lay down what Christianity teaches about sexuality—ideas like there are only two genders, marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman, marriage should last ‘till death do us part’, and sex should be reserved for marriage, to name a few.
Hold these biblical views and your neighbors may not feel loved at all. They may feel judged, invalidated, hated even.
Who wants to be a hater? No Christian I know decided to follow Jesus with that goal. We signed up to follow Jesus because of His great love extended to us sinners.
Do we really have to choose between God’s moral Law and God’s mammoth Love?
Responding to those who might think otherwise, Jesus clarified that he wasn’t eliminating the Law or the Prophets (Mt. 5:18, 19), he was fulfilling them. In fact, looking at all he said about the greatest two commandments in Mt. 22:36-30 mentioned above, it was his love that fulfilled the Law.
So how do we follow His lead today? How do we hold firmly to Scriptural teaching on sexuality and simultaneously love those who disagree with what Scripture teaches about sexuality?
I’m learning as I go, but here’s one place to start.
Take time for self-examen. What is holding you back from honoring God’s moral Law regarding sexuality as Jesus did? Or what is holding you back from loving sexual sinners as Jesus does? Self-examen creates space for God’s searching and loving eyes to look upon you—your exterior and interior life, your consciousness and your conscience*.
(At the bottom of this blog are a handful of questions for self-examen that I think may be helpful for you.)
Jesus’ love of sinners wasn’t constrained by God’s Law. His love fulfilled the Law. Where our “love” asks us to dismiss Scripture or, conversely, to dismiss those who disagree with Scripture, then we’ve lost sight of Him.
Let us together meet Him in the practice of self-examen; confess our own sinful actions, inaction, and attitudes; and learn to walk closely with Him who took up His cross to save us sinners.
Question: Beyond platitudes, how can you love your neighbor today? Leave a comment here.
Possible Questions for Self-Examen:
- What was more important to me today: what people thought of me or what God thinks of me? (Mt. 6:1-6, Jn. 5:41-44)
- Was I willing to be misunderstood, reviled or falsely accused today for Jesus’ sake? (Mt. 5:11, 12)
- Did I have equal compassion for the “younger brothers” and the “older brothers” I encountered today? (Lk. 15:11-32)
- Have I loved God with my whole being and my neighbor as myself today? (Mt. 5:17-19)
- How am I seeking and serving the lost, the sick, and the sinner? (Lk. 5:30-32, 19:10)
- Did I see anyone’s weakness or sin more prominently today than seeing a person Jesus dearly loves? (Lk. 7:3 – 4, 36-50, Jn. 4:7-35)
- Have I contributed in any way to a culture that places heavy burdens on people’s backs without helping them? (Mt. 23:4)
- Have I contributed passively or actively to a culture of sexual immorality? (Mt. 5:27-32)
- Have I contributed passively or actively to a culture of violence or death? (Mt. 5:21-22, 38-48)