Earn God’s Love

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.” (Galatians 5:6)

We may confess salvation by faith with our mouths, but in our hearts we work to keep (or earn more of) God’s love.

The proof is in our pride: the false belief that we are somehow better than others because of what we’ve done for God.

There can be no doubt, doing things for God is vitally important, essential in this way: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.” Faith must be expressed because it is a belief that is strong enough to translate into action. Weak beliefs are called opinions. And they flee fast when action is required to prove their worth.

The Galatians began in faith, but fell into a works mentality. Paul spoke definitively to correct their error.

Two questions are useful here:

  • How should my faith express itself?
  • How can I earn more of God’s love?

The first question takes a lifetime of perseverance to answer. The second is much more simple: nothing.

Speak the truth in love

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow…” (Ephesians 4:15)

The self-righteous wield the truth like a weapon of mass destruction, ambivalent to the the devastating consequences. When confronted, the predictable response follows: “WHAT? All I did was tell the truth?” Their fortress of foolishness is unassailable. Mostly.

Speaking the truth without love ignores the greatest truth: we are called to live in love. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, we cannot help someone grow into the likeness of Christ with a hammer.

God’s work in our own lives reveals a gentleness. He progressively reveals more and more of himself and the darkness in our own hearts. Imagine the devastation if on the first day of your new life in Christ God revealed to you all the things that needed to change in your heart.

I teach my children that to love someone is to want the very best things for them. What if our goal was to help others grow to be more like Jesus (this is the very best thing we could want for someone). This would lead to a mouth that tells beneficial truths in a way that they are most likely to be heard.