“…that love may abound more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.”
It is not enough to just have love in knowledge. This is superficial love that will never help another Christian grow into maturity. Don’t get me wrong. Love is the all important thing, and understanding how to love each other is of utmost importance. We must learn to Follow the summary of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:7-8 – Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails”. When we arrive at this point in our walk with Christ, we are in a good place.
But there is a higher plane, one which brings us even more in line with the love God has for us – loving in all judgment. This kind of love is ignored in our churches today. It is skipped over as if there should be no judgment at all. We should bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things while never even contemplating judgment. Grace, grace, grace – that is the message that prevails today.
Yes, our Lord is a God of grace – abundant grace that forgives our sins despite our wretchedness. But He is also a God of judgment, and we must never forget this. We must always preach this. There will be judgment for the unrighteous, just as there was for the enemies of Israel in the Old Testament. There is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.
Jesus spoke of judgment as much, or more, than He spoke of mercy. He said the fool is in danger of hell fire, that the Pharisees were wretched, that many who call Him Lord he doesn’t even know. He talked fo weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the judgment to come, as much as He talked of heaven.
It is good that we love the unbeliever and the babe in Christ with knowledge – this is a necessary thing while they are still growing in their faith. But as they mature, judgment must be used to keep them from turning to the right or to the left. Love with the love that Jesus had!
Lord, I have long struggled even to love as Paul taught us to. I can’t do it on my own. I need your love to shine through me into others people’s lives. Help me to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things, but help me to do it with discernment, with judgment. Help me to fully love those around me.