Having a true, biblical picture of love and grace is very important. This is because, as we have seen, the person exhibiting SBCMB will have their own, distorted view of love, which they will enforce powerfully, but which needs to be resisted.
This is where our Western world’s common ideas about “love” and “grace” will completely let us down—and indeed may easily become a weapon in the hands of a person exhibiting SBCMB. In our world, for example, “love” often means complete acceptance and non-judgmentalism. That is, according to our world’s common way of thinking, you are only being “loving” when you are not doing anything to upset another person’s psychological wellbeing and sense of worth. If you dispute or disagree with another person’s view of their own identity or their self-worth, this is regarded as particularly “unloving” and even as a harmful act. Unfortunately, this approach to love and harm actually provides fuel for SBCMB. That is, if you act in any way that leads to the person feeling less worthy—including simply speaking the truth or asserting your own personal boundaries—a person exhibiting SBCMB will often react very strongly, expressing deep grief or even accusing you of being hateful, mean, nasty, etc. This is very difficult to overcome.
This is why it is important to go back and remind ourselves of the true biblical picture of love. As we have already described above, this is seen ultimately in the love the Lord Jesus Christ has shown us in his death on the cross for us. The way such love should be seen in our own relationships is not simply by affirming a person’s view of themselves or feeling strong feelings for them. “Love” does not mean agreeing with another person’s distorted view of reality. Rather, the reality of love in the Christian’s life is described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4–7: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” In this context, the idea of bearing, believing, hoping and enduring all things does not mean simply allowing another person to define their own moral and personal reality and to use that reality to take over your life and the lives of others. This is wrongdoing, and love does not rejoice at wrongdoing. Rather, love rejoices with the truth. The truth matters. And love “bears” all things by not being irritable or resentful, and by turning to the Lord Jesus Christ for comfort and vindication when you find yourself being wronged and even slandered simply for speaking the truth.
Read the next section: Realise that normal social rules may not apply
Copyright © 2021 Lionel and Bronwyn Windsor
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