The Bible says I have to love them, but...

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by readmore, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. readmore

    readmore
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    I've heard this phrase a couple of times lately, and I used to hear it all the time in Bible College.

    "The Bible says I have to love [so and so], but I don't have to like them!"

    Hearing it again lately, I got to thinking about it. It seems like a perfect microcosm of Pharisaical thought. The Bible tells you to do one thing, but you miss the point of it and try to find a way to weasel around the language of it.

    What do we mean by "love" and "like"? I think the person saying this is usually trying to justify feelings of animosity, and a fair rewording could look like, "I can 'love' that person by saying I'll pray for them or their salvation, but I would never be civil to them or invite them over, or yada yada..."

    So what does "loving" someone but not "liking" them look like? Is it possible? Is it "what Jesus would do"?
     
  2. guitarpreacher

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    I'll confess to having said that a time or two. I can't remember ever saying it about a lost person though. Whenever I said it, it was always in reference to one of my dear brothers or sisters in Christ.:saint:
     
  3. guitarpreacher

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    To give a more serious response - Yes, I think it's possible. If we properly define love as something we do, a way we act, a selfless response to those around us - then yes it's possible. I don't like everybody. That does not excuse me from loving them. I don't get to pick and choose who I love. Now, if you define love as that warm, fuzzy, tingly feeling, then it's probably not possible.
     
  4. gb93433

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    Compare that to what is taught in:

    Mt. 5:44, "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

    Luke 6:27 "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."

    Luke 6:35 "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."
     
  5. TrustingInHim

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    :) Loving is a choice and the Bible makes it clear that as children of God we ought to love. Emotions often have to play 'catch up', so you might choose to love someone with actions, prayers, etc. but at the same time have feelings that conflict. We should not give in to negative feelings but rather fight them. And over time, as we actively choose to Biblically love our enemies, God can and will change our emotions.
     
  6. blackbird

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    I thought loving someone was a command???-------Thou SHALT love the Lord thy God . . . and thy neighbor as thyself"

    To not love someone is rebellion against God
     
  7. Thinkingstuff

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    Well what happens if you really don't love yourself? So, if you are commanded to love God and love your neighbor as (not more on in what manner) you could end up not being very nice.
     
  8. TrustingInHim

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    You are right. To love is a command from God - I should not have said 'ought'. But to love is more than an emotional response and that's what I was getting at. We can choose to obey God and love someone before we feel like it. Then the emotions should follow.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    I can love people but not love the way they act or what they believe. We are not commanded to love the action, but to love the person.

    I don't love this thread . . . :wavey:
     
  10. holas84

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    So our emotions can be separated from our command to love? As long as we 'act' out our love by doing nice things and praying, it is already to 'feel' like we wish they were dead? I don't think that is right. I think that God is commanding us to control our emotions the same way that proverbs talks about. Be stronger than a man who can conquer a city by being strong enough to control your own attitude. That is true strength. Of course, we only find this strength in Christ.

    "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32
     
  11. Aaron

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    Love is not mere affectionate feeling, but love does not exist without it.

    A.W. Pink is excellent on this topic:

    http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_19.htm
     

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