Commanded To Love

Commanded To Love

Commanded To Love 150 150 JJ Landis

I’m embarrassed to be in the same camp as people who take drastic measures in the name of Christ. I view the world as a mash of colors and swirls and lots of grays; and though I want to so badly see sharp corners and stark differences and clear blacks and whites, I repeatedly fail in those efforts.

What do we in the Church fear? Why are we afraid of people who think differently than we do? Why do we respond with dogmatism and draw precise lines between wrong (them) and right (us)?

My tendency is to cheer for the underdog, to look for the root of why someone does what they do. I TRY not to judge by the standards I have set for myself and expect everyone else to see the world as I do.

I want to scream sometimes when I hear financially comfortable people judging someone who is struggling financially (this is just one example). It’s so so so so so so easy to judge someone using the lens of our own experiences.

We think/say: I would never (insert any action here) and anyone who does that should know better. I assume that everyone is approaching life with the same accumulation of knowledge that I have and therefore should make the same decision I would make in that situation, which obviously is the right decision!

All our experiences are different and they make us who we are.

I’m not condoning sin or in favor of hurting others or breaking the law. I’m just begging for a bit more compassion and an attempt to see the world as others do. I’m begging for love, not judgment.

I’m begging for us who call ourselves Christians to help, not condemn.

(I realize I’m a complete hypocrite. I bitch and moan about people all the time. The plank in my eye needs to be removed. Even in this post, I’m judging. Picture: me hitting head on table in frustration over and over and over.)

For all of us trying to be God by judging everyone else, I share these words from a book called Culture of Honor by Danny Silk (emphasis mine).

“Jesus is right there with us at every moment to help enforce the victory He’s won over sin in our lives… Because of the cross, our life is no longer about trying not to sin, but about fulfilling the commandment to love.

“…If we’re going to lead our communities in revival and build a house for the presence of love, we have to know how to interact with one another in such a way that eliminates the punishment option, the need to control people when they fail. When we stand in the presence of sin and respond in fear and control, it makes us look like idiots

“Those who sin do not need to be punished. We have to figure out a response to the real lives of the people around us, the real lives of the people that we shepherd, the real lives of the people in the communities where we live…”


JJ Landis

JJ Landis is the author of "Some Things You Keep." She is a librarian in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and three children. She blogs about parenting, marriage, and getting through the day at

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