1 Timothy 1:5 But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.
I’ve always found this verse to be meaningful and beautiful, but it wasn’t until just moments ago that I also found it to be sad. Why doesn’t Paul just stop at love? Why doesn’t it say, “But the aim of such instruction is love,” period, end of discussion? What kind of love doesn’t come from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith? Does that even qualify as love at all?
I know love is a complicated word, and it means different things to different people. Love could mean loyalty, or love could mean trust. Acceptance or admiration. The list is endless, and because of that, I guess it’s good that Paul went ahead and defined the type of love he was talking about. His definition clarifies, rather than changes, the message that the goal of this teaching is love.
It has become increasingly difficult to love no matter what. We, as people, have a tendency to take the easy way out and choose hate and judgement. We’ll be sure to have excuses lined up to justify our feelings. “She talked about me behind my back, so it’s okay if I hate her.” But is it really okay?
After Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, how many times did He talk about hating the people involved in His death? None. Here was a man, completely free of sin, the only one with any right to judgement and hate, who just loved. If He can unconditionally love all of us, I think we can at least try to love each other.
In a world of constant hate, I pray we choose love. I pray we choose Jesus.
1 Corinthians 16:23-24,