Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

Love Is Not Normal

This week, my heart was full. My reflections centred on the relentless grace of Christ over the years and how undeserving I am. I encourage you to frequently meditate on God’s mercies over you.

Gratitude brings us a step closer to God and shapes our attitude, not only towards Him, but to others around us.

We cannot bear witness to God’s love in our lives without being vessels of the same love to others. We give to others what we have received.

Love is NOT normal

When you read Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, you’ll understand that the life Jesus calls us to live out is not ‘normal’.

At its core, the Christian life is counter-cultural.

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. 

Our natural inclination is to repay evil with evil, to teach ‘them‘ a lesson ‘so that others can learn not to cross the line’ with us.

But in Matthew 5:43-48, we are confronted with a radical call to love people who are undeserving of our mercy. No doubt, this can be difficult and Jesus is not unaware of that.

However, the reality is that, having tasted and seen God’s love for us, we cannot be normal anymore.

The love that saved us wasn’t normal — John 3:16. The life we are called to live is not normal — Luke 6:35. Christians are not normal people because love is NOT normal — John 15:13.

Love is a balancing act

Let me clarify something at this point. The call to radically love people in view of how much we have been loved by God should not be mistaken to mean we don’t challenge wrong behaviours towards or around us.

And before I go any further, I speak from experience when I say that this is not always an easy balance to get right.

God’s love is not complete without his justice. The death of Christ on the cross was not a beautiful sight. Yet it was ultimately a love declaration from God to humanity.

God didn’t sweep sin under the carpet. The only way to redeem us was the path of excruciating pain in condemning sin. If God couldn’t judge sin, He wouldn’t be loving.

Bringing it back to us, our understanding of unconditional love for others must be tempered with biblical clarity.

The love that covers a multitude of sins (in context, giving allowances to others) in 1 Peter 4:8 also demands our love loathes what is evil — Romans 12:9.

Consider Jesus in Matthew 21:12-13. It was an act of love for the glory of God that moved Him to overturn the tables of money changers in the temple.

There’s need for balance so we do not end up embracing behaviours that contradict our core biblical values as norm.

Yes, we are to love one another (John 13:34, Romans 12:10) but our love must not give wings to sin to thrive in and around us. Otherwise, we undermine the integrity of the gospel and the character of God.

Love is a radical call to be Christ-like

When the early missionaries set out from Europe to various countries across Africa with the gospel, they were not compelled by a desire to make a name for themselves.

They were moved by the power of the gospel and a reality check of God’s love in their hearts to take the good news to all people groups where Christ had not been named.

God’s love changes us in very tangible ways. We become consumed by a passion to see others from an eternal perspective.

Radical love is authentic; we become empowered to relate with people in view of the mercy we have received.

Radical love inspires us to owe no man anything but to love; for Christ has so inexplicably loved us more than we deserve // Love Is Not Normal Click To Tweet

When you read Matthew 5-7, you will find the believers’ template for living the God-intended life in a broken world. It is radical, transformative, God-exalting and people-centric.

If your love is more concerned about keeping institutional rules at the expense of touching lives, then religion is in your way.

For men to see Christ in us, we must love like Christ loves us daily — arms open wide, no reservation, no compromise and no condemnation.

Love is radical. Love is a balancing act. Love is not normal.

P.S. Listen to the latest episode of Purpose Guy Podcast everywhere you get podcast.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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