Read: II John 1
I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (II John 1:5-6)
Love is more than just a feeling, although feelings of love are quite nice. The emotion of love is only a small part of the love equation. If you base your love on feelings and emotions, your love will be inconsistent and unpredictable—there one day and gone the next.
True love is much more than that. The highest expression of love is to obey the commands of God. And the commands of God are best summed up in the great commandment: To love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength…and to love your neighbor as yourself.
True love means to put God first. True love means to give your heart and soul in full devotion to the Heavenly Father. True love means to accept his Son, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. True love means to fully commit your life to God’s purposes. True love means to lay down your life for other believers. True love means to share your faith with lost people. True love means to care about the things that God cares about. True love is all of those things, and more.
But true love is not naïve. True love does not mean accepting all things and all people. True love does not mean blind tolerance and unlimited inclusiveness. The truth is, there is evil in the world, and true love hates that evil. And since evil is at its best when it masquerades as good, true love requires great discernment and constant alertness. True love is required to oppose those who worm their way into the church with deceptive doctrines that have the potential to lead people away from the truth and thus destroy their souls.
That’s what John’s second epistle is all about. Though very brief, his letter is powerful and pointed. He is writing to the leaders of the church, exhorting them to continue to love, but to love with an eye out for ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing that are penetrating the fellowship, seeking to devour the flock.
God’s call to love is the same for you and me as it was for these people to whom John wrote. We are to invest our lives in loving. But our love isn’t true unless it is willing to reject falsehood and oppose evil people, especially when both try to pass themselves off as good.
By all means, love—but keep your eyes open!
Father, give me a discerning love!