Tim Keller does it again. Floored. This is the only medicine that can stop pain and compost evil and suffering into good.
First, we have to understand our common conception of “love” is really “HUNGER” in disguise. That’s not love, and it’s destructive. What is real love then? What can really heal us and make us better? It’s not living by this hunger, but living out of fullness and true love.
From HopeBeyond on Youtube:
” Jesus demonstrates His love for the disciples by moving straight to where they are least attractive—their feet. We tend to avoid loving less attractive people. We like to love beautiful people so that we can feel better about ourselves. Jesus modeled love, but He did so in a way that challenges our culture’s understanding of love. In this passage Jesus shows that love is more than romance or a feeling…
Judas Escariot – had the BEST small group experience and most trans-formative experiences ANY of us can possibly dream of, but was never a Christian. The Gospel never clicked for him. Yes he had an intimate friendship following Jesus around day in day out, yes he did see thousands of lives transformed, and witnessed all the miracles and the love that went around. But he never personally tasted the good fruit of the spirit.
Jesus – despite his status as God, despite the torment and suffering he was experiencing and preparing himself for, and despite who his disciples were and what they were going to do to Him, He served them. He WASHED THEIR FEET in un-self-absorbed love, thoughtfulness, care and humility.
Fruit (singular!) of the Spirit: if they’re not ALL there, they’re not there at all.
- If a person LOOKS loving, but they’re not self-controlled, he’s not REALLY loving.
- If a person LOOKS peaceful but he’s not kind, he’s not really peaceful.
Look at your own life.
Unless you see that if one is not there, none of them are there, then you can’t imagine the hugeness of this gift being offered to us.
- Gentle, meek and sweet but not courageous or confrontational– the gentleness and sweetness is not real humility but from cowardice and lack of self-confidence; or, this tolerance of yours can be a defense mechanism.
- One who has self-controlled but experiences no joy. That’s pride-control, not self-control. “I’m gonna show you.” That’s out of control. that’s under the control of “pride.” (will power, etc.)
- Very patient, but not kind. Never complain, never raise their voice. But when you get underneath it they are actually very very angry and very scornful of the people they’re being patience with. Real patience is to forgive. Not this: “I’m not gonna let you know how much you hurt me. I’m not gonna let you see me sweat. In my own heart I’m gonna show you my superiority to you by being “patient.”
Real Christian character is utterly organic. Sweetness and boldness will synergistically work together and be better.
Common versus natural virtue:
- People are friendly because they’re needy.
- people are honest because they think it’s the best policy or do it as a principle out of self-interest
- self controlled because of pride
These are all good for society but if you get it the real way, you’ll realize that it’s so much deeper than stoicism. It’ll flow from the inside. It’ll be natural.
Don’t look at your strengths to evaluate how much you’ve improved. Look at your weaknesses.
Nature of the fruit of love:
love is washing feet:
real love is NOT tolerance, but a vision for the person’s true health and perfection given the current condition of sin, falsehood, evil, wounds (the more she loves someone the angrier she gets when she sees them not doing something good for themselves or sees them hurting themselves. the more she loves someone, the less tolerant she is, she wants to shake them, “can’t you see what you’re doing to yourself?” you’re becoming less and less yourself every time I see you!!) I’m not angry because I hate them; I’m angry because I love them. I don’t walk away. Real love stands against deception, lies, falsehood that destroy. E H. Gifford: the more a father loves his son, the more he hates in his son the drunk, liar and traitor. Final form of hate is indifference. Love is washing. Getting involved. helping them to become everything they’re designed to be.
MERE TOLERANCE IS A COUNTERFEIT LOVE. Just saying, “everybody is fine.” No. Real love is engagement, it’s washing feet.
love is washing feet:
it’s not just romance. Another MAJOR COUNTERFEIT: romance and even just attraction. Not just sexual romantic love. But also attraction, romanticized love. This one has lots of power n it. ATTRACTION. Attraction to attractive traits, sharpness, beauty, power, wealth, personality, intellect. But, Jesus is washing the MOST UNSIGHTLY part of the person. The worst part of the person. Not looking at faces but looking at feet, not the attractive part… and very dirty and stinky. Love is service and action, not a feeling of love. IN THIS WORLD, what PEOPLE CALL LOVE IS “HUNGER.” It’s not love it’s HUNGER.
Love in our society is: “I love you” which means, you make me feel good about myself. You fill me up. You make me feel like I’m significant. I want to own you, I want to have you. I want YOU to make me feel like a real individual and to help me become myself. That’s hunger. That’s not real love.
THE FRUIT TREE ANALOGY:
If you come before a beautiful fruit tree and you’re ABSOLUTELY FULL. What do you do? Praise the tree, take off some cobwebs from it, do some things for it to help make it perfect. But if you are VERY HUNGRY and come before a beautiful fruit tree, what do you do then? You are attracted to the fruit tree in a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY. You don’t care. “I love the fruit tree!!” but you’ll rip it. You will strip it. You will pick from it and gorge on it. You don’t care. I don’t love it for itself. I love it because it fills my hunger, for what it’s gonna do for me. After you ravaged it, the tree is less beautiful.
True love is not that. Love is out of the fullness of your heart, NOT the hungers of your heart. Serving people in spite of their attractiveness. I’m attracted to you always means, “you make me feel good about myself when I’m with you.”
That language is, “I love you, I want to own you, I want to devour you, I want to eat you. I want you in me to deal with my emptiness.”
The true language of love is, “how do i make you into an individual?” How do i fill you up? How do I adorn you? How do I take the cobwebs off? How do I help you grow?
Washing feet is not tolerance, it’s engagement. It’s service. Just for people’s value as people.
Humbly, indiscriminately, GENTLY (feet washing is very gentle and can be very painful and foul because how beat up the feet are), let me be committed to your radiance, your cleanliness, your glory.
It can be dirty, foul, NO feelings of attraction.
Golden Rule: put yourself in other’s feet. Stop operating out of hunger and start out of love.
But, can we do it? No.
For people who have been so bad to you that you’re ready to give up on them, love and serve them anyway. But we refuse to do that. Do we want to be loved and served even when we are at our absolute worst and have done absolutely the worst things?? Can we do that for others?
We need people who make us feel good so we can’t do the Golden Rule. we can’t give love to people who are stupid, foolish, bad because they can’t fill our own hunger.
Jesus says, i see that you are hungry. Sin has made you hungry and want to use others. You can’t do it. You can’t do the Golden Rule. You can’t put yourself in their place so I am putting myself in your place. I, God, come to do it for you. There is no other prophet and no other GOD who does this for you but I will, I am kneeling at your feet and cleaning it. I am loving you in spite of who I am, in spite of who you are, in spite of all I am facing. i have put myself in your place, so that YOU can start to really love others.
only when you are completely freed from hunger love, only when you can truly feel you are loved for who you really are, then you can love someone else for who they really are or in their worst situations…
Only when you have filled yourself by what Jesus gave us, then we can love others.
Look at Jesus, you can’t do it on your own. We already know this. Only when you think about Jesus doing these for you, then you can do it for other people.