We all enjoy warm feelings and positive emotions; but we should not confuse these things for love. Love goes far deeper than affection or desire. Love does not affirm us when we do wrong. Love does not overlook our selfishness, cowardice and hatred. Love challenges us – firmly, persistently – to be transformed.
A parent who truly loves a child establishes boundaries. No lying. No hitting. No disrespect. And, when necessary, the loving parent disciplines. Not to punish, but to correct.
This is the true love that we see in Jesus as he overturns the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple. This is the genuine love of God that we see in Jesus as he binds chords to make a whip and drives the merchants out of the holy place. Sometimes love demands anger.
When does love call us to stand against cynicism, cruelty, greed and injustice? How do we stay humble even as Christ calls us to hold others accountable? How do we prepare ourselves to be transformed by the no-nonsense love of God? Are we ready to be called out? Are we ready to change?