Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Real people have real questions. “Who am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? And, Where am I going?” These are the basic questions everyone must answer for themselves. The answers determine how they view their world, shaping their convictions, beliefs and actions. If we as Christ followers believe the greatest commandment is “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27) we’re compelled to make love practical. Your apologetic of love is how you talk and act to convince others God’s love is truth, that he made them, and gives them identity and purpose.
Real people have real problems. Many people today, in addition to the basic worldview questions, also ask, “God why did this happen? Does God even exist? Is God really good? Did Jesus really rise from the dead?” Your apologetic of love as a Christ follower engages people in finding answers to these questions as well as being an example by the way you love them in God’s name (1 Peter 3:15 “…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”). You show God’s power with a real life that’s been changed by his love.
Real people need real answers. How will they get those answers? By our love, the real love of God. Jeff Myers in his latest book Unquestioned Answers says “Believers need to remember that love for God involves loving what God loves.” This means loving ourselves and the people we know. It includes the people not like me, the people I like and the people I don’t. People who don’t know Jesus might be repelled by Christian beliefs, but we who follow Jesus hope they would be attracted to Christ followers by our loving character. Paul the Apostle’s apology of love is outlined in Romans 12:9-21 and 1 Corinthians 13. Wouldn’t it be a great compliment if someone said you personify the love in these passages? Choose some verses from them to memorize and emulate.
By Donna Burns