Monday, May 14, 2007

Love Bites

Oh yeah…the old Def Leppard tune. I was huge into Def Leppard when I was a kid…especially during "fast skate" at the roller rink! (Not to mention a few other hair bands that we’ll save for a later discussion)

However, the title jumped in my head when I was thinking through the past 5 years of our church. I think it would be a fair assumption to say that we as a church staff love our people! However, over the past few years, I think collectively, we have hurt more people than I can stand to count.

It seems like every time I turn around, we’ve hurt somebody. Sometimes it’s people we deeply care for and have been journeying with for quite some time. Do I think we ever intentionally set out to hurt people? No. I would wager to say an emphatic “NO.” I know these guys pretty well and I don’t think anyone around here sits in there office thinking about how they can really “stick it to” somebody…especially someone they love.

So why is it that so many have been hurt in the short existence of our little church? I would say mainly because our love is not perfect. We may have every intention of communicating love to our people, but we miss the mark quite a few times. I believe all my fellow staffers are great at owning their mistakes and trying to move on from that point. Again, not perfect, but I do see intentionality in that area.

Another reason I think so many have been hurt is because we are prone to misunderstand the definition of love. “Romantic Love” like we see on TV and in the movies pretty much distorts our reality. All we see is this myth that love is a warm embrace, a long kiss, and beautifully crafted words strung together.

Back to reality…those words and warm embrace don’t do anything for me when I’m getting ready to walk in front of a speeding Mack Truck. “Biblical Love” steps in and says…dude, there’s a large Mack Truck coming your way…you should consider your next step.

Finally, I think that one of our worst relational enemies is what I’ve heard some term as the “ladder of inference.” Somebody does or says something that doesn’t quite sit well with us…and then we begin this subtle ascent up the “ladder of inference.” We begin to “infer” what may not really be there. Step 1 – I can’t believe she said that… Step 2 – I would never say anything like that… Step 3 – She really doesn’t like me… Step 4 – Why should I even try at this relationship? Step 5 – I’m out of here…

I try not to make my blogs too long because it can be sort of daunting to see a lot of text…so I know there is much more we can say about this. However, I know this…in order to be in real community with each other, we have to realize that sometimes love does bite. (Sometimes with intentional truth and other times with unintentional neglect) Regardless, we have to extend grace if we want our relationships to have any sort of depth or longevity.


  1. i heard a quote one time that said something like, "if you're not offending anyone, you're probably not making a difference." Living in community is so messy...