I heard on a podcast this week that one word being used today to describe Christians by those outside of the faith is extreme. So in thinking about writing a post about the first fruit of the spirit (love), I asked myself a question: what kind of extreme love shows all observers that something supernatural is being produced? Here are two illustrations:
1. Forgiveness to the drunk driver who killed a family member
2. Traveling around the world twice to adopt a child
If after watching these videos the thought comes to you, “Wow! Those are moving stories. But I don’t think I have something that extreme to offer.” Allow me to pushback, please.
Anything that challenges you to go against yours or other’s norms is up for consideration when it comes to defining extreme.
- Husbands, it probably sounds extreme to some of you to hear that some husbands have chosen to do the laundry for the family, not because they love doing laundry but because this is how they’ve been led to produce the fruit of love in their home.
- Divorcees, it probably sounds extreme to some of you to hear that some remarried spouses actually engage with former spouses by traveling together, assisting financially, or routinely showing genuine care in various ways, not because they love the tension of past baggage but because this is how they’ve been led to produce the fruit of love in their family.
- Employers, it probably sounds extreme to some of you to hear that some employers have chosen to not take raises or take a “usual” salary for someone in their position, not because they love living paycheck to paycheck but because this is how they’ve been led to produce the fruit of love to their employees and for their company.
Love should be extreme. Spirit-filled love should surely be extreme. Here’s a challenge-ask yourself this question in a form of a prayer and see what happens: “Holy Spirit, how/where and to whom can you produce extreme love through me? What will you do through me for which the only explanation could be extreme, supernatural love?”