The Opposite of Love is Indifference

February 10, 2009

Tuesday Remix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and rerun for your consideration and comments.

In a previous post here, I addressed one group among Christians today who respond to the gay marriage issue with vocal disdain and “protests” designed to change the behavior of people outside the church; trying to get non-Christians to act more like Christians. Silly endeavor, I think.

But the mediator in me wants to be fair. There are other groups in the church which have our response to this issue equally wrong, particularly when the same-sex marriage issue pertains to people inside the church, i.e., to people who are Christians themselves and have chosen to subject themselves to the Spiritual accountability of the church. There is a group within the church who believes same-sex marriage is immoral and runs against God’s desire for humanity, but who doesn’t believe it is any of the church’s business to say so even when it involves its own members. This group would say, “Just love them…leave their decisions about their private lives to themselves…it is not our business to be their ‘moral police.'” My question is, in what kind of world does that attitude constitute love?

I’m reminded of when my daughter used to come into the house with yet another new injury. Those of you with “active learners” for children know exactly what I mean. When that would happen, there were some things which we both knew needed to happen. Neither of us wanted to do those things, but at least one of us knew they were necessary (and the other one of us would grow to figure that out eventually). This wound was going to get cleaned. It was painful (for both of us) and the process was no fun at all, but I was going to do it anyway, even knowing that, for a short time, it would put our relationship on troubled waters.

The question is, why did I do it? Was it because I am a good leader? Was it because I have some kind of special training in first aid? Was it because I just enjoy the confrontation? Simple…it was because I love her. And that is the reason we confront one another in the church about Spiritual brokenness.

If God has put me into your life in a relationship of Christian community, and if I have lived out that role in a way so as to show you that I really do love you and care for you, then I feel a responsibility to you Spiritually. And when you make decisions in your life that I believe may constitute Spiritual mistakes, what kind of brother in Christ would I be to just stand back and watch without asking you any hard questions about it? That’s not love. That’s indifference…which is the opposite of love. There is nothing Christ-like about indifference.

Love compels me to say something, to do something. By the way, any other motivation would be wrong. If I feel compelled to confront you because I believe your behavior is embarrassing the church or somehow hurting me or my leadership, then that is NOT a right motivation. There is nothing in God’s Word which would endorse that motive. But my love for you and my desire for your best Spiritual interests will always be a right motive.

Bottom line for today’s post is this: as Christians, do we love each other enough to confront each other, or not? That’s an important question, don’t you think?

© Blake Coffee

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5 thoughts on “The Opposite of Love is Indifference

  1. Laurie

    You hit the nail on the head. Too many people ignore what is actually a command in the Bible. We are told to go to our brothers when they sin. Yes, the attitude is extremely important. There is no place for self righeousness here. Something like this is tough to do correctly and absolutely no fun. Can we call it tough love–tough on both parties?

    Reply
  2. Jason

    This is solid stuff. I think the primary “law” of the NT is the law of love. Not in the sense of ignoring morality for the sake of feelings. Very good.

    Reply
  3. John D

    Awesome.

    I appreciate the way you’ve said this and I’ll try to remember this when it applies.

    It has become politically correct to be indifferent – to live and let live. But, we must act in accordance with the Lord’s standards, not the current standards for what it means to be politically correct.

    (I’m linking this one)

    Reply

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