Pure Love

September 3, 2018

Psalms 32:10… Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the lord.

            For the sake of this writing, I am going to say that everyone, even those who trust in the Lord, experiences things that lead to sorrow. I have found that even righteous people have “bad days.” Jesus was righteous, right? He had some bad days. If He had some bad days, it stands to reason that we, as well, can have bad days. This promise in the Psalms is not a promise of “No bad days.” The promise is that even on bad days, we are surrounded by God’s love.

            That gives us a clue about the nature of pure love. A phrase, “Tough love” was popular several years ago. It described a way for parents to raise kids. Teenagers, especially, needed to be treated with tough love. Tough love denied pleasures and tried to keep a child on the right path. Tough love might be

described as “God’s love”. God is not consumed with making sure we are happy.

That reminds me of a statement that is made by parents… “I just want you to be happy.” That does not come from God’s love. I heard a sermon yesterday that better describes His statement… “I just want you to be Holy.” The text is found in 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 14… As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.

            Which are you engaged in? Being happy or being Holy? When a parent is trying to lead a child in holiness, it might be interpreted, by kids, as legalism. Paul said, “When I was a child I spoke as a child.” Not everything that comes out of a child’s mouth is wisdom. Parents ought to fit in a different scripture: Hebrews 5:14…  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

            Notice, wisdom is not evident just because of years; it is part of our thinking because of training. Grey hair is not a promise of wisdom. We must train ourselves in discernment. Holiness is not because of our works; it is ours because of Jesus’ work on the cross. Hallelujah!