Forgetting Love

For those who claim to follow the biblical Jesus, faith in Jesus cannot be separated from love. To say that love was important to Jesus would be an understatement. It wasn’t just important; Jesus went so far as to say that it was the most important thing of all.

Faith in Jesus was always meant to be a faith built on love, but something terrible has been happening for a long time in the Christian faith: so many churches seem to have forgotten love, and that forgetting has been convincing people everywhere to want nothing to do with God at all.

When I first noticed this happening, it broke my heart. How could the people who claimed the name of Jesus the loudest, who claimed to follow the Bible the most fully, be so unlike Jesus? How could they be so hypocritical? So disobedient to the God they claimed to represent? How could they not see how instrumental they had become in pushing so many people so completely away from the God who made them and loved them and wanted to see them set free? How could they not see that they were causing so much harm?

And then my heart broke again when I realized that I had become a part of the problem too. The love that had grown cold all around me had spread, and I found that I had begun to forget the truth of God’s love as well. Maybe my forgetting looked differently than theirs, but forgetting is still forgetting. And whether that forgetting has lasted a day, a week, or many years, faith that has forgotten love is faith that is in need of a rescue.

For me, remembering how to love was that rescue. Or at least, it was the beginning of it. It was the beginning of my repentance, but it didn’t end there because repentance didn’t just mean returning to what I knew was right, it also meant turning away from what I knew was wrong. That meant I also had to walk away from the Christian circles whose teachings and examples led me astray in the first place, and away from the religious leaders who believed they had the authority of God to command that I obey them, even when doing so meant disobeying Jesus himself.

It’s been a number of years since then, and I see even more clearly now how walking away was the best decision I could have made. Returning to love saved my faith. Choosing to follow Jesus first and foremost, once again, brought my broken spirit back to life and I haven’t looked back.

That’s not to say that I have arrived as a loving person by any means, or that I am anywhere near a perfect example of a disciple of Jesus…I will never “arrive” in this life because there will always be more ways to grow and more ways to heal. But I try to choose love again every day, as if for the first time, and that has changed everything for me. It has changed the way I see God, who first and foremost is love. It has changed the way I see people, whom he loves desperately. It has changed the way I see myself and my reason for being here on this earth, and it has changed the way I see the world.

Because I remember now what I once knew and forgot: when it comes to following Jesus, everything starts with love. It is our first and greatest commandment. It is the royal law of God. It is the crucial evidence of whether or not we know God at all, and it is the greatest gift, without which all our faith comes down to nothing.

So here’s to remembering love, today and always.

Yours Truly,
~Cassia Dee


healing my voice: day 4/222
Blogging Through the Bible Challenge: Matthew (22:36-40)

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