As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed that everyone ultimately turns into an exaggerated version of themselves—or a fully realized version of themselves. Cranky people just get crankier. And loving people seem to grow more loving.
Having spent time with Billy Graham, I saw what a loving man he was. When he first started out as a preacher, he was full of fire and passion. He never lost that, really, but he talked a lot about God’s judgment. By the way, that’s an important thing to talk about. We don’t want to neglect it.
But as he got older, he was such a loving guy—not just when he spoke publicly and reminded people that God loved them. He also was a very loving person privately. He became a fully realized version of himself.
I’m not talking about a touchy-feely kind of love but genuine love. There are some people who say they love you, but they don’t show it by their actions.
The Bible says, “If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, ‘Jump,’ and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2 MSG).
You can be theologically correct and be an unloving person. Some people mark their Bibles, but their Bibles don’t mark them. They go through the Word of God, but the Word of God doesn’t seem to go through them. They’re hypercritical, always finding faults and flaws in other people, always down on others. You could describe them as judgmental people.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we want to grow in our love toward others. And if we’re not known for our love for others, then we’re actually falling short of what God wants for us as Christians.
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