Righting “Disordered Love” <Mt 22:36-40; 6:33; Lk 14:26; Mt 10:37>
1. Augustine: Human sin comes from “disordered love”.
1）There is originally a right order of love.
· Should first love God, then others, followed by self.
· Read <Mt 22:36-40; 6:33>.
· To have a happy, holy life, must restore the right order of love:
o do not love what is not to be loved;
o love what is to be loved;
o do not have a greater love for what should be loved less;
o do not have an equal love for things that should be loved less or more;
o do not have a lesser or greater love for things that should be loved equally.
2）Sin: Not loving in the right order.
· Calvin: The evil in our desires typically does not lie in what we want, but that we want it too much.
· “Disordered (reversed) love”: Idolatry.
· Idolatry directly despises and slanders God.
· “Idols”: Anything we deem more important than God.
2. Can love created things, but only love them in the Lord (love with a God-centred heart).
· Neither “asceticism”, nor “indulgence”.
· Read <Lk 14:26; Mt 10:37>.
· When loving anything, are we loving with a God-centred or self-centred heart?
· Besides telling us to love God, the Bible also tells us to love other created things.
· Must learn to love all things in the Lord, so that we will not go astray and fall into the sin of idolatry.
· God is the source of all good things, so all secondary good things are meant to point us to God.
3. Must correct our “disordered love”, and restore rightly-ordered love.
1）Christian faith is not just believing God in the mind, but also loving God in the heart.
· Jonathan Edwards: True religion, in great part, consists in holy affections.
· Our heart will affect our actions. Thus, correct our “disordered love” in our heart.
2）Must first restore the love for God.
· The more we appreciate God’s love, the more we can love Him.
· Learn to enjoy God’s love through all the good things God created.
3）Must identify how our love is “disordered”, then repent.
· Honestly examine whether we have any idols:
o From what do you derive your self-worth, or are you getting more joy and satisfaction from anything else other than from God?
o Are there any desire that easily causes you to over-indulge such that you fall short of your responsibilities or ignore the needs of others?
o Is there anything which will make you lose the meaning and joy of life, and even make you mad at God if you do not have it?
o What is the greatest fear and worry in your heart?
· The gospel is not just sweet grace, but it is also tough challenge, because it confronts all our idols.
· “Love” is not merely a feeling, but it also comprises a will which can be trained by the truth.
4）Need the Holy Spirit and church living.