In the last blog, Stop Loving People, Part 2, I had us consider three points about love: 1. God’s particular love; 2. that the abstraction of “people” leads to non-love; 3. and that God has placed particular people in your schools and lives to love. In part 3, we will now consider the question: So what’s the problem with not loving in a particular way?
In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says without love we are simply a clanging symbol or a noisy gong—wasting our time. Also without an object of our love, there is no love.
Are we resounding gongs? Teaching our students Latin… Greek… even the tongues of angels (I heard a rumor that this is becoming a requirement for ACCS accreditation), but not loving them? Are we expositing every prophecy, casting out the demons of ignorance, doing the mighty work that is classical Christian education, yet without being loved and without truly loving? If no student is greater than his master, and a student receives education without love, what do they become? G.K. Chesterton is often quoted as saying “Education is not a subject, and does not deal in subjects. It is instead a transfer of a way of life.” What are you transferring?
When I was preparing this, I was reading an article on Aristotle’s “Stasis” theory of arrangement. One of the questions this article said we should ask in preparing a discourse is: “What are the costs of solving the problem?”
What are the costs of loving particular people that God has placed in our lives?
- Free time. When that person (parent, student, coworker) comes walking your direction down the hall, and you want side-step into an open room or act like you are taking an important phone call.
- Comfort. You might have to admit you were wrong. No matter who the person is that you must confess to, this is not easy. It seems that the closer we are to someone, often the harder it is.
- “Chips”. Many of us are careful to store up “chips” in the metaphysical poker game of our lives. Love for particular people might mean that we have to get vulnerable. We might have to sacrifice “chips” before we get to “use” them to our own advantage.
- Friendships. It could even cost you friendships. There are some people that scorn loving the hard people in our lives—they might be mockers and scorners. If you have to sacrifice these friendships in order to love particular people, especially the “hard people to love” in your life, then those friendships are not worth keeping.
Are you willing to count the cost of what it might take to love your particular neighbor?
In the next part of this series, we will begin to tackle the question: “So what do I do?”