In the most basic and accurate statement I can think of, the summary of the Christian life is this: love God and then love others. Easy-peasy, right? As accurate as that statement may be, it’s terribly poor at communicating what that might look like. It certainly doesn’t communicate the calling to love aggressively.
In Romans 12:9-21 Paul shows Why Your Love Should Make You Aggressive.
1. Love isn’t passive.
When we read through the passage and see Paul’s description of what loving others looks like, I think it’s really clear that it’s not a couch-potato activity. Love is aggressive. Sure, I could say that love is “active,” or “intentional,” but I really don’t think that a description using soft words helps enough. Love hunts for people who need love, and then gives it to them. Love is a hunter.
2. Love is as aggressive as God is
Paul is teaching that to truly show love requires some aggressive work. I suppose, just like God aggressively showed His love to the world by seeking those who needed it and then giving it to them, we also need to do the same. As aggressively as God addressed the problem of sin, we need to love.
3. Love is messy, complicated, and really uncomfortable
Just like the spiritual gifts Paul mentioned earlier, this is not an exhaustive list. The few verses we have in this passage is only enough to point us in the right direction. Love is bigger than our casual Sunday morning services. Love is more complicated and messy than most of us are comfortable with.
So, how do you love aggressively?
Well, since Paul started us with a list, here’s my short list.
I. Aggressively hunt for those who need your love
We’re not going to love anyone if we wait for them to enter our comfort zone. If we’re going to love aggressively, we need to take a look around and anticipate what others are experiencing, what they need, and how we can lead them closer to Jesus.
II. Consider social and church gatherings to be your hunting ground
We don’t need to look very far to find people who need to be loved. My guess is that there’s a bunch of people in your own church who feel unloved and want someone to pay attention to them. There’s probably some people sharing a coffee with you at work who may be good candidates, too. If we’re going to love aggressively, we need to be on the hunt for people who need to be loved.
III. Be missional about this
There are people where you live, work, and play who need to know about Jesus. You’re not going to find them gently approaching you to ask you a question about Jesus. To love aggressively, you’re going to need to anticipate the best approach to take and make your move. If you’re not doing something to help connect people with Jesus, can you honestly say that you’re really loving others? And, if you’re not really loving others, doesn’t that mean you’re only giving God 50% of the Christian life that He’s called you to?
What about you?
Is your demonstration of love to others aggressive enough that it gets you out of your comfort zone, a little messy, and feeling uncomfortable? Do you love aggressively by hunting for those who need to be loved?
Or, did you see something different in the text?
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