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The Maturity of Love

by Douglas Avilesbernal, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church (BPFNA Partner Congregation) in Norristown, PA

We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. 15 But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love. -Ephesians 4:14-16

The President’s speech on the administration’s executive action regarding immigration touched off a storm that has buried most of us under feet of ink and video mostly of a very partisan nature. Both sides, in favor and against, went into action immediately to make sure “our” message gets out. So it was then that the cable news cycles and the curated news feeds, not to mention the usual print and radio media outlets created a storm so thick with tweaked information that truth became impossible to see.

We live in a world where the winds of opinion are so strong that all of us have been taken for a spin many times. So what are we, as Christians, to do as we look to survive in yet another storm? How do we risk loving the other when the winds are so strong the idea of finding our way to truth is an increasingly fading hope? Should we give in and seek refuge at home with our favorite channels and curated news feeds that reinforce our opinions? Or should we gird our loins and walk into the storm to continue our walk towards truth?

The details of the speech and the discussion around it can be easily found online. How we as Christians react in thought and action must be found in communal discussion under the guidance of love, Scripture and our faith. That discussion ought to begin by speaking truth in love to ourselves. We must ask about the winds that toss us to and fro. Inquire of ourselves which trickery, craftiness or deceitful scheming have distracted us from the truth. “We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about…”

In other words, our response cannot be one based on our political leaning or our feelings about the administration. Our response needs a love that is mature enough to not be led by the immediacy of prejudice or the tyranny of hearsay. The executive action is about real people who in the absence of legal recourse chose to ignore an unjust law in order to provide for their families and their very own survival. Our response must in turn account for those people with a love that is mature enough to help us see beyond our own opinions. My position is not that we matter less than they do. Rather, the difficulty of where we are is that we all matter equally yet many of us simply cannot see that. Our faith demands that we leave childlike responses that see what I want as the most important and speak the truth in love to ourselves and those around us.

“We must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.”

May our love help us care not because of how the executive order may affect our sense of right and wrong exclusively but because we are all part of one body knit together by every ligament with which a body is equipped.


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