Fight dirty-Use love

Updated: Feb 14

Love is a weapon


Question; is God’s love conditional or unconditional?

We are all born with the need to love and to be loved. That is why love is such a big seller of songs, books, and movies etc. The saying that ‘Love makes the world go round’ is probably at least partly true theologically speaking in the sense that it is the love of God that keeps the whole creation in existence.


In the English language love has all sorts of different shades of meaning. For instance we say I love pineapple, I love my dog, I love my wife, or I love God. The depth of sentiment hopefully is not the same in these examples!


The fact that there are distinct types of love can be illustrated by the four Greek words for love used in the New Testament era [1]:


1. Phileo; the love of a friend or a brother.

2. Storge; natural love like a mother’s love (for her child).

3. Eros; sexual love.

4. Agape; the love of God.

The first three are types of human love and at best are only pale reflections of the agape love, the selfless love of God. When the believer is filled and moved by the love of God then they can surpass the human loves.

An example might be, if a young man or woman with Christian parents is called to the mission field, the storge love of the parents might tempt them to dissuade their child. However, the agape love would overcome this and send them out with a blessing.

The love of God is not indulgent and can be tough!


There is a lovely revealing use of the two different words used in scripture for love i.e. agapeo and phileo in John 21:15-17. Jesus asks Peter if he loves (agapeo-selfless love) him twice but Peter answers with phileo (friendly or brotherly love). Jesus then uses Peter’s phileo when he asks a third time.

The message is that agape love is a sacrificial love that is willing to lay down its very life for God.


Agape (love) became the characteristic word of Christianity. The Holy Spirit brought new meaning to this word. Agape love is sacrificial and selfless and seeks to do good to all men but especially to our fellow believers. Where does this love come from?

Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us


Definition: To fight dirty means to use any means at your disposal to win in each conflict situation. In a physical fight it could be biting, gouging, head butting, a blow below the belt. Not observing the Marquis of Queensberry rules! Or using a weapon or anything else to hand!


Fighting dirty has the connotation of doing ‘whatever its takes’ to win whether fair or unfair. What about our spiritual battles in situations or where all the negative person to person interactions place especially when the living stones rub together .

Can the weapon of love be used in these circumstances?

[1] CS Lewis The four loves


The greatness of Love


Definition of agape love: 1 Corinthians 13 is the Greatest Gift 4 Love suffers long and is kind ; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


The power of love


Rom 8:37-39. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Love is the glue that holds us to God.

Love is the glue that holds us to each other.

We are stuck fast to God and each other!

Clearly this agape type of love is indeed the most powerful thing in heaven and the cosmos that nothing, yes absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.


Love as a weapon


The concept of love as a weapon is not new as was used to significant effect by Martin Luther King; ‘’ Fifty thousand who took to heart the principle of nonviolence, who learned to fight for their rights with the weapon of love, and who, in the process, acquired a new estimate of their own human worth’’.


God has provided each believer with protection for day to day life and this includes the whole armour of God which describes to us the revelations we need to incorporate into our lifestyles for us to be continually fully protected in our spiritual lives. The weapon known as the sword of the spirit is when we use God’s rhema word as weapon against temptation in its various forms and disguises.


In the church life the weapon of love is displayed in our various actions such as forgiveness, kindness, tolerance, unity, and service (be addicted to service of the saints- tasso).

Are we practicing these day by day? Love is a drug, but it is a good habit.


John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,” This is the acid test of our discipleship. Brotherly love is a great witness and highly reproductive. The weapon of love helps us to win people to Christ.


1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers,” Agape love is a sacrificial love.


Romans 13:8“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law,” You owe me a debt of love and I owe you a debt of love, When we forgive each other in love it releases each other from the bondage of unforgiveness which is the breeding material for Satan’s destruction of our relationships. Love is all about giving and forgiving.


Radical love -Loving our enemies


Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,


In any given situation if we can demonstrate God’s agape love then we will be wielding our most powerful weapon.

Jesus tells us not to render evil for evil but do good to our abusers and tells us even to pray for them. King David fasted and prayed for his enemies. Pretty radical. Most times we struggle to fast and pray for a friend!

In this life if we can keep showing love when people treat us badly then something must give and where we show longsuffering love it will break through albeit later than we had hoped for.


Some ‘Dirty’ tactics


The late Dutch woman and evangelist Corrie Ten Boom had to forgive a prison guard from Auschwitz where her father and sibling were murdered. She could only do this through the love of God. We need to act in love and just as importantly react in love.


Corrie said this; You never so touch the ocean of God’s love as when you forgive and love your enemies: this is very challenging.


Many years ago a neighbour whose marriage had broken up in the then recent past came to complain about my son hitting her son. We told her that we would investigate and get back to her. We sent our son over with chocolate biscuits for her, befriended her and were able to lead her and her son to Christ. Love is a powerful weapon


Do not underestimate the power of even small kindnesses and ask God to show you how to do them every day in life. Many situations can be turned around by small kindnesses.

A cup of cold water on a hot day, a bowl of warm soup on a cold night?


The Love Weapon in our speech


Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger

How about telling a sibling you have had an argument with that ‘you love them with love of Lord and that you can see in them the glory of our King’!?


It is hard to fight against such power because the love of God is active in it and will touch their heart!


How to use the love weapon


In the spiritual type of battle we often use the opposite spirit to defeat the enemy e.g. when someone forces us to go a mile, we go the extra mile. They are compelling us be we are submitting to them.

If they ask for our tunic give them our cloak as well.

They are demanding but we are compliant. When people are mean to us, we should be kind to them. Love is giving and love is forgiving.


Matthew 5:40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

Walking in love, repentance, and forgiveness –some people have equated this to wearing the shoes of the gospel of peace- (among our weapons of spiritual warfare) and have suggested that this lifestyle is effective against curses, sickness, and hatred. Perhaps this is worth thinking about!


In personality clashes with people when we respond in a godly way by showing love or forgiveness then this usually turns the situation around. Love is indeed a powerful weapon. When you want to hit them, hit them with weapons of love, forgiveness, and kindness!


Conditional or unconditional- my opinion


This love of God is unconditional in the sense that it does not look at who we are, where we have been or what we have done but focuses on what we will become when we are willing to be changed by the most powerful love of God. The ultimate victory of Jesus Christ’s victory over sin and death has the condition that we must believe it to receive the new birth with forgiveness of our sins and the inheriting eternal life.


Wear your weapon of love and wield your weapon of love each day as a lifestyle


Summary


We need to ask the Lord to continue to pour out the Holy Spirit into our heart’s day by day so that the liquid love of God will flow through us producing fruit in our lives that can be tasted by those around us.

Be continually filled with the spirit. We need to use this agape sacrificial love which is out most powerful weapon.

We need to fight dirty to win hearts and minds and souls to achieve God’s purposes in our lives!


Amen

Prayer


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