Righting “Disordered Love” <Mt 22:36-40; 6:33; Lk 14:26; Mt 10:37>


1. Augustine: Human sin comes from “disordered love”.

1There 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.

2Sin: 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.

1Christian 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.

2Must 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.

3Must 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.

4Need the Holy Spirit and church living.