Harvest Table

Let Not Our Love Grow Cold

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Matt 24:12 – “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…”

Do you ever have a scripture stop you in your tracks? I sat and stared at those words as my mind raced through the horrors of the last month.

That is exactly what we are seeing – an increase of wickedness. This is my third attempt to post about this subject. I have cried through each attempt as I think of the senseless killings and hatred that have occurred. Every time I think I am finished writing, another tragedy fills the news. Personally, I feel numb. My mind has a hard time processing such horrific things as isolated incidents much less en masse.

It’s like when I get a tooth filled and wonder when the numbness will wear off so I can eat and drink normally again. We are not getting a break for the numbness to wear off before another attack. We barely recognize normal. Wickedness is increasing.

That’s where this scripture grabbed me. As Christians, how do we respond in the face of increasing wickedness? How do I respond? Will my love grow cold? What does that mean?

If you pardon the wording here, that verse chills me to the bone. I know the context is Jesus talking about the end times, but the thought that your or my love could grow cold as influenced by the wickedness of the world is alarming. It encourages me to take primary care of my relationship with him.

The opposite of love is said by some to be hate and by others to be apathy. As Christians we cannot afford to harbor either. Our prayer has to include, “Lord, please do not let my love grow cold. Reveal yourself to me more and more that my love for you will increase and thereby my love for others will as well. Help me love those you love.”

Another thought is that a lack of love may reveal fear. Fear of being misunderstood, prejudged, hurt (physically or emotionally), or even killed by an unknown terrorist, crazed shooter, or (God forbid) a member of a local police force. And if we don’t fear that for ourselves, we may fear it for our children or our friends of a different race or ethnicity.

The question of what kind of world children are being raised in is one that every generation has faced. The main difference today may be that we know everything from everywhere in an instant. That can be frightening. That can lead us to be desensitized (numb) to the evil around us until it leaps from its crouched position in our own community. Or it can lead us to be angry and strike out. Or it can lead us to our knees and let that anger be directed productively. Through God’s grace, I hope it leads us to more acts of kindness and love.

We must not let fear guide us and keep us from living. Remember to look up. In the midst of so much pain, look for opportunities to rejoice with those who rejoice and seize opportunities to mourn with those who mourn. Cry out to God on their behalf.

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Look Up! (Photo Credit: Ruthe Brunson)

My encouragement today is to spend time with God. When an expert in the law asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life (Luke 10:25), this was Jesus’ reply: Luke 10:27-28 – “… ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

In the wake of tragedy and as we struggle with how to love others (our neighbors) and trust God without succumbing to fear, remember that long after your words have been spoken, people will remember kindness extended in a time of need. “Random acts of kindness” is not enough anymore. How about thinking beyond that? How about purposely setting out to perform “regular” acts of kindness? Let our hearts be keen to the Spirit of God and see the opportunities around us. Let kindness be the normal and its expression flow freely to all. You never know where it will land and how it will affect. Amidst so much death and destruction, let kindness be our expression of love.

Wickedness may seem to surround us, but the love of God shines brighter. We must look to him through our tears and sorrow. He is the only peace that truly can be found.

 

2 Comments

Remembering I was created to do good works and seeking the Holy Spirit to reveal what I was predestined to perform today...Ephesians 2:10....

I wonderful reminder Bonnie! Good job!

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