“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.” (I Corinthians 13:4, 5)
In the news a while back, quite a controversy erupted when a man erected two large lighted crosses on his property. Neighbors complained about the lights shining into their homes. They claimed to have no problem with the crosses themselves. The local authorities backed the neighbors due to ordinances in the community. The gentleman displaying the crosses balked at removing them because he felt they witnessed to his faith. Eventually, he complied with the law and said this of his neighbor, “I’ll let her think she’s winning.”
There is a radio in the shop at my workplace. Whoever happens to be working in there pretty much has control of the selected station. That is fine, but what about when more than one person is laboring in the shop? Who rules the airwaves then? A Christian employee wants K-Love on believing it witnesses to his faith and wants the other employees to hear about the love of Jesus, but is that acceptable when a confrontation results over the radio station.
When we consider even a small portion of the “Love Chapter” above, it is pretty easy to see where these two gentlemen are amiss in their approach. While there is nothing wrong with Christian symbolism in itself, there is an appropriateness to when, where, what, how and why. And such is certainly not a substitute for loving other people in Christ. A person hearing about His love is also a beautiful thing, but experiencing being loved by a Christ follower is so much more.
Witnessing for Jesus Christ in a world that doesn’t want to see or hear is a challenge. It can even be disheartening at times, but trying to do so apart from the love described in the 13th chapter of Corinthians, does serious damage to all involved. It is no small thing to be an ambassador for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords nor is being a willing and able conduit for His love to be poured out on the people in our lives. It is essential that we inquire of ourselves as to whether our witness is real and – is it love?