Fruit of the Spirit – Is there a Wrong Kind of Love?

wrong loveInteresting isn’t?  Can there really be a wrong way to love?  There is and I’m sure at one time or another each of us has not loved in the right ways or the right things.  Here are a few examples of wrong kind of love.

Do you love your money/possessions?

This is is a wrong kind of love.  The Word says the desire for riches leads to all kinds of evil. The more we have, the more we want. Material possessions will not bring happiness because there is always something new with the promise of fulfillment.

“But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10 ESV

Paul tells us of the dangers of loving money/possessions.  First, by chasing after money/possessions there are many pitfalls.  The words temptation and snare can be used with the Satan’s power of manipulation in mind.  Satan is capable of using the hope of money/possessions to blur the morals of believers.  Money/possessions can lead  people into circles where the rules are different, the peer pressure is tremendous and values are distorted.   What you once thought unthinkable becomes natural on the inside.  Paul emphasizes the love of money/possessions leads to devastation.  There are no warning signs.  We must heed Luke’s warning “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15 ESV The love of money/possessions will condemn many souls.

As I ask myself this question, I come to realize, although I do enjoy the things I own, I realize the blessings from God.  I’m so thankful for what He’s blessed me with!  I will admit in the past I loved my possessions!  I always wanted more and more.  But they did not fill the empty place in my heart, only God’s love did that!

Do you love to be praised?

This is a wrong kind of love.  If you are seeking praise for it’s own sake that is sinful.  then you want glory for yourself and not glory for God.   Praise of this kind is empty.  We can become trapped when we live our lives around what the world says should make you happy and successful.  When we love the praise of man we will never love God as we should.

John tells us, “Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man than the glory that comes from God.” 12:42-43 ESV

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10 ESV

Ask yourself, are you doing virtuous deeds out of love for God or are you wanting to be noticed and praised by others?

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1 ESV

I struggle with this some days.  I want to be noticed for the amount of work I do for others, I want the praise.  It’s sinful, I know!  I know I can’t do anything without Him ~ nothing good anyway!  When left to my own devices I couldn’t possibly do good.

Do you love excitement?

That is a wrong kind of love. Many of us love pleasure and things that excite us. Not all excitement and pleasure are sins but they are momentary.  Many of us spend more on pleasure than they will ever give to the cause of Christ.  Luke tells us in 8:14 ESV,  “And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.”

When we love and pursue excitement we are acting like children who never mature.  God wants us to enjoy our lives but not if we stay as children.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I loved being on the mountain.  The mountain was an exciting time, leading me to blog, to start the group and to want to begin an intimate relationship with God.  Being on the mountain thrilled me with all the new knowledge of God, of Jesus and all that they are.  Being on the mountain showed me the power and love He has for us.  Yet, there came a time when God told me I was no longer a child, it was time to mature in Him.  Though I still love the thrill of mountain, I know there will be times of excitement, I need to hold onto to those moments for they will sustain me.

Do you have a love of preeminence?

That is a wrong kind of love. There are those of us who feel we must be better than those around us.  The love of feeling superior destroys the spirit of servanthood.  Galatians 6:3 ESV says, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”  We are nothing with the Father!

Ask yourself, “Do I acknowledge Christ’s preeminence? Do I give Him first place in all I do and think? Is His character what people see when they look at me? Preeminence doesn’t mean only once a week on Sunday. It means every day and all the time—in everything—that in all things He might have preeminence.

I believe, this is the reason for so many evils of this world ~ big and small.   The need to be better than others.  Why is that?  Is it our self-esteem in ourselves is so little what by trying to be better than those around us we make ourselves feel better in some way?  This wrong kind of love is so against God!  I want to do His will.  I want to follow the walk of Jesus.  The way I do this isn’t any better than another’s, it’s the way God is leading me.

As I meditate upon these truths, I see where there is still so much room for improvement in my walk with God.  I welcome it!

As we go through this journey together please remember,  

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV