Our tongue is a terrible weapon when it is not voluntarily bridled by the Spirit of God. From this same mouth comes praises for my Lord and curses for my fellow believers. Are you kidding me? What a terrible disconnect there can be when we are not constantly conscience of being directed by the Spirit.
The Church aught to be the safest place in this world. It is filled with connected followers of Jesus Christ who are each walking in the Spirit and desiring to grow into the fullness of Jesus. But faith is a process of growth which means each of us are at different levels of understanding and relationship. We have those who are strong and those who are weak; those who are mature and others who are immature. This is the reason that love is the foundation of the Kingdom because we cannot exist as the Church without it.
Love is something that should be a constant thought, something we measure all our actions and words against, desiring to increase in it's application. Our measuring rod is Jesus. He empowered us and set the example. He gave us the standard when he told us, his followers:
"This is my commandment : love each other just as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
Not one of us is perfect in this but we must at least begin with the understanding that this is not a suggestion from Jesus; love is a must. When we fail in it we must own up to it, repent and open ourselves up to correction and increase. Paul the apostle made it clear that this is a foundational matter that everything else rests on:
"If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don't have love, I'm a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don't have love, I'm nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I've done but I don't have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever." (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
Paul is saying that no matter what he has and what he does, if love is not the foundation he has nothing and he is nothing. That should be a sobering thought for us. How often do we coast through our day with no thought about the impact of our actions and our words on the people in our day?
Jesus made it clear that we can't just say that we love him, that love must be conveyed in our obedience. Love is a thing of action: "If you love me you will obey my commandments" Jesus says to us his followers.
The two commandments he gave us are simply put: love God with your entire being, with all that you have, with all your passion and love others. John the apostle told us that if we do not love our brothers and sisters we do not love Jesus. So we can't obey one commandment and ignore the other; they go hand in hand.
Now we turn back to my opening statement that the Church aught to be the safest place in this world. No matter our maturity level, we all start with the same foundation, love. Because love is the root of everything we do, we support and encourage each other. When one of us fails, we are all there to help them back to their feet. Paul put it to the Church this way:
"We who are powerful need to be patient with the weakness of those who don't have power, and not please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbours for their good in order to build them up." (Romans 15:1-2)
You should read all of Romans 15. In fact, if we go back a bit we find this in Romans 14:
"Who are you to judge someone else's servants? They stand or fall before their own Lord (and they will stand, because the Lord has the power to make them stand)." (v. 4)
This is the reality we aught to be living in the Church. Now a days it seems everyone is on a witch hunt to discover some fault in every leader in the Body of Christ. The Word of God does not give us that authority, and in fact comes against it. It is eating away at the foundation of love. Jesus does not need our help in correcting leadership; he is quite capable of dealing with them himself. Instead, we should be concentrating on growing in love and power so that Jesus may be glorified in us.
The Church aught to be the safest place in this world.