True Love? a brief exploration of confrontation
Love, a word that has seemed to vary in meaning from season to season. But what, in it’s purest nature, is love? I ask these questions not because I have some profound answer to display, rather, these are the questions I am asking during this time in my life. This matter cannot be fully examined or processed in one blog or one book even. But, I do know this, true love does not vary as I do, tousled back and forth from one circumstantial experience to another. Love is a constant. Our understanding of love and it’s depth does however change, as does our experience of it. While it cannot be discussed at length, certainly not by me, in the next few paragraphs I will be conferring a recent revelation to a specific aspect of love. Summing up Hebrews 12:6, who God loves, He corrects.
We certainly didn’t see in Jesus a lack of confronting others. He was utterly robust at times. He was not mild mannered when it came to confrontation at all actually. He physically threw people from the temple, He rebuked one of His closest friends, even referring to him as “satan” during the confrontation, and on a regular basis would loudly rebuke, even embarrass the religious unsaved of His day. Knowing that God is love, we see love demonstrated in all Jesus did..This is where my understanding of true love is beginning to be ripped apart.
There were two groups He would observantly be “rude” towards. 1) the brazen religious-unsaved 2) those who were in pursuit of Him. This quandary of confrontational love deepens as we cease to skim over these scriptural occasions of rebuke.
But if we are sincerely trying to address important issues and do our best to present truth in a way that we think will persuade, if we refuse to duck our responsibility to speak and to act, if we are really trying to love in word and in deed – then we should brace ourselves for a fair amount of hostility… It should never surprise us when our love for others makes them feel uncomfortable, even hostile.
In the end, the love of truth and doer of love will sometimes, like Jesus, be both mean and wild – mean with reitious anger and wild with inconsolable grief..
— Mark Galli (Jesus, Mean and Wild, p.80)
So what does all this mean? well, I’m still trying to figure that out for a large part. However, this I know. I have written more than a few off for stern rebuke. I have at times even allowed those moments to stir dissension in my heart, bordering on the edge of loathing those individuals or even the institution for which they represented. This reveals in me a deeper place I must examine. A place where rebellion and egotistical lifestyle will breed if allowed to. But, I know this, with revelation comes the keys for change. With embracing, hardened hearts are softened.There is a much broader context for love than what I’ve seen, and in knowing this, I must seek out a fully-orbed view of it to truly live.