Love isn’t always easy; knowing when to speak, and when to pray. It can be difficult.
Have you ever been in a situation where a friend is talking to you about a situation involving two people and they are clearly loving one and not the other? It can be hard in that moment to see the situation the way God sees it. On one side, the temptation to join in on the side your friend is on is there. On the other side, standing up for the justice of the other person, seeing that both parties are accountable for their decisions. On the other hand, there is the temptation to want to fix your friend’s perspective, to enlighten them that their opinions and words are not speaking life and unconditional love.
Then there is the love-all option. In the love-all option you pause and pray into the situation. You pray wisdom, understanding, and freedom for all people involved, then I would suggest changing topics of conversation. Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:36 that we are accountable for ever idle word we speak.
Intercession is so powerful. You can be interceding for your friend, and the situation. Praying God moves in their heart to see both parties how Christ sees them. In these situations, holding Christ’s perspective is important, seeing the situation for what it is, and how to effectively tell the mountain to move. Your friend is coming from a place of wanting a good thing to happen, but the method is destructive. We do not battle against flesh and blood. Good intentions aren’t always as good as we think when we step back and see the bigger picture, loving everyone involved. In Luke 6:33 Jesus warns us about being partial in our love towards others.
“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. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Love is incredibly powerful. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all man will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” That says that simply by our conduct towards one another, it will be undeniable to all men that we are disciples of Jesus. It’s that unique of a love.
Our lives as followers of God, are what people are looking at; we are constantly ambassadors for Jesus on this earth. Gossip, slander, back biting and false witnessing can be very damaging around non believers, or immature believers. We are representatives of the reality of Jesus and the heart and character of our heavenly Father.
“Love is not always an easy concept, and it is contrary to our natural way of thinking and operating. Choosing pure, unconditional love is incredibly humbling.” – Anonymous
In John 15:13 Jesus tells us that there is no greater love then laying down one’s life for his friends. “laying down one’s life” is translated from the words tis, tithémi, psuché which combined means, the laying down of one’s soul. It means sacrificing; your mind and its thoughts, your will and all your actions, and your emotions for the sake of another. It can be so tempting to find justification for ourselves, to call a friend and have our emotions, thoughts, and actions justified.
“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
Let’s go back to the example of the friend. When listening to the partiality of the conversation, and the favoritism being spoken, panic could set in for the state of your friend. This is when it becomes important to remember Ephesians 6:12. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
“Resisting the desire to “educate” them on the reality of the power of the words they are speaking, intending to help them understand isn’t helpful in this case. It would’ve been coming from fear and not love. Rather than submitting to fear or reacting in panic, we can choose to cast our cares on Christ, and praying out loud in the moment with the friend. Praying for God to infiltrate the situation, guiding every person involved for His will to be done, and then speaking life, identity, and freedom into them through prayer, lifting them and the circumstance up.
Not every situation is the same, it’s important to always put our ideas up against the Word of God. In Isaiah 55:8-9 we are reminded that our ways are not His ways, and likewise our thoughts.