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Love, True and False

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Love, True and False Empty Love, True and False

Post  Admin on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 5:53 pm

Found on Facebook this was written about 60 or 80 years ago:
Love, True and False

True love will temper our judgment, and give a heavenly tone to our actions. It will not hinder us from seeing the faults of a friend; while it will give to a faithful hand the needed gentleness in dealing with what is wrong. True love views everything from the sunlight in which it dwells; and, while hoping all things and believing all things, will not hesitate to inflict a needed wound.
False love (that is, fleshly love), on the other hand, warps the judgment, and blinds us to the faults of others, leading us into fellowship with that which is not according to the mind of God. False love runs into the wildest extremes, refuses to lift the sword of judgment, calls evil good, justifies the wicked, and finds itself at home in any company, saying that "one has no right to judge." Let us be delivered from all such compassion. We may call it love; But it is a mere counterfeit of the heavenly article.
The love that is of God is a love that is according to truth, and a love that is in fellowship with light; for God is love (1 John 4:16), and God is light (John 1:5), and "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). Truth must ever be the salt wherewith we preserve the Christian graces from degenerating into mere sentimentality. It is for want of a due "balance of power" in this matter that there is such a dearth of true testimony for God. This leads us to point out three kinds of testimony...

1. Testimony that is devoid of love. Such testimony is cold, cheerless, and repelling. It may profess to edify the saints; but it simply hacks things into pieces. It can show with great clearness that this is wrong, and that other thing is not of God; but it cannot point out the "more excellent way." Such testimony makes gashes; but it cannot pour oil and wine into the wounds it has made. Under the plea that "one must be faithful" it smites on the right hand and on the left; but like a weapon in an unskilled hand, it rouses the very spirit it is intended to slay. A testimony that is not immersed in love will effect but little in furthering God's Kingdom. It may have a certain weight with some rugged natures -- men who frown upon the slightest manifestation of sentiment in the church. But if true work is to be done for God, a testimony devoid of love will never commend Him whose nature and whose name is Love. A loveless testimony will never cause the wilderness to blossom as the rose.

2. Testimony that is all love. This testimony consists in preaching smooth things to God's people. The man who is all love is ever crying "peace, peace," while there is no peace. He is pleased with everything -- sees nothing wrong with anybody or anything. He has never learned what it is to "cry aloud and spare not." He looks at everything through the rose-tinted spectacles of fleshly compassion. He looks upon all men as in the right, provided they are "sincere," no matter what the Word of God says. The man who is "all love" judges nothing, condemns nothing, rebukes nothing. He never lifts the sword of God's Word to probe a wound, or to aim a deadly blow at some popular sin. He is a physician who deals only in ointment; and with this he would fain cover over and conceal the wounds of the church. He never goes to a brother and says, "I must testify to you that your deeds are evil." He never lifts his voice against crying wickedness. Where such testimony, or lack of testimony prevails, the spiritual life of a church must be of a very sickly character. Under an all-love testimony, spiritual wickedness is sure to abound. Spiritual Agags will there be found in abundance, walking about quite undisturbed under such preaching, and saying, "The bitterness of death is past." Such is ever the fruit of daubing the walls with untempered mortar.

3. We now come to the third kind of testimony, viz., testimony in which truth and love are harmonized. All true testimony has these two characteristics. And what is the result of such testimony? The result is that God's people are fed with the finest of the wheat. If rebuke is administered, it is "with longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Tim. 4:2) -- in other words, with truth and love. They who thus serve are delivered from running into the extreme of "judgment without mercy," as well as from the opposite extreme of "mercy without judgment." The voice is lifted up like a trumpet, and wounds are given; but such wounds are blessings in disguise; for love makes the hand skillful; and "faithful are the wounds of a friend."
True testimony will not be content with hushing things up. The truth must be out. Then "righteousness and peace" shall kiss each other. A true witness will not spare the knife of the Word. Yet he ever carries the heavenly balm, and is skillful to heal, whenever the truth has had its due and cleansing effect. Truth tells him what to do; love tells him how to do it. Thus "speaking the truth in love," he is a true witness; and we know that "a true witness delivereth souls" (Prov. 14:25).

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