There’s an interesting verse in Proverbs: 

“Unfailing love and faithfulness protect the king; his throne is made secure through love.” (Proverbs 20:28 NLT) 

It seems counterintuitive to say that love – not war – makes a king’s throne secure, but that shouldn’t surprise us. God’s word often contradicts our first impulse, our knee-jerk reactions to a situation or a person. 

But love is a force. It is a strength that can resurrect the dead or soften a wayward heart or, in this case, strengthen who we are. Love never fails to accomplish God’s purpose. 

Remember the story in the Bible when a rich man came to Jesus, fell on his knees and implored him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He’d kept the commandments, and seemed to want for nothing, financially or spiritually. And yet – Jesus looked at him with love. 

“‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.” (Mark 10: 17-22 NIV) 

Why does the Bible specifically note how Jesus looked with love and compassion upon this man? Did He know the man would make the wrong choice and walk away sad? Did His love open a way for the man to choose God’s path? Did it hold out an opportunity for him to choose a better way? 

There are times to call out sin and expose the deeds of darkness. As a Christian believer in a counter-Christian culture, it’s important to hold to our convictions and the truth of God’s word.  

But if we only live by our convictions without the power of God’s love active in our lives, we become hard-hearted religious people and only advance the Hollywood cliché of a Bible-thumping hypocrite. We become the noisy gong and clanging cymbal that the apostle Paul warns us about in 1 Corinthians 13:1.  

Love must compel our every action, our every word. Love must be our highest goal.  

Love is not a weakness. It is a force of light that can push back the darkness in a person’s life. It can open a way in their heart and mind to choose the life God intended them to live. Don’t be afraid to love.  

“Let love be your highest goal…” 1 Corinthians 14:1