What’s the difference between fake love and true love?
The bible says that we are to love our neighbour as ourselves. In other words we are to treat our neighbour as we would like to be treated. Fake love looks like it practices this principle but
in reality in its heart it runs on the principle of ‘you are to treat me as I would treat you.’ Fake love believes you should be sensitive to my needs because I would be sensitive to yours. This is the opposite of what the Bible teaches, but this is how most Christians play the game. The Bible doesn’t teach that you are to be nice to people so they should be nice to you. It teaches you are to be loving whether they are nice to you or not. Fake love is exposed when it gets annoyed that you aren’t doing it right to ME, when you aren’t keeping ME happy, especially since I would do it right for you.
Fake love does things for its own benefit; it’s generous so you are obligated to it; it’s polite so you are obligated to not be rude to it; it’s nice so you can’t judge it; and it’s sweet so it can manipulate your emotions and confuse your real perceptions.
Fake love keeps people happy so they will have to keep me happy, so you will have to value me and hopefully favour me especially in preference to others. It’s a competition of hierarchical ranking amongst piers and family.
True love is expressed in the bible as agape. It doesn’t do things for its advantage; it does it for the advantage of others. It doesn’t do things for status; it doesn’t do things to be valued; it doesn’t expect others to treat it as I would treat them; it reacts to situations the way the Lord did. It treats others as I would like to be treated irrespective of how the other is treating me, yet it has the right to defend itself against mistreatment. True love doesn’t get caught up in the issue of my rights, it already knows it has them in God. Its prime concern is honouring the will of God the Father, even at the expense of offending people. It doesn’t seek to offend but it doesn’t withdraw from offending if what is said or done is from God’s heart.
Many times true love actually makes the receiver sad or uncomfortable or even offended and angry. In John 6, Jesus deliberately challenged His disciples to eat Him and drink His blood. His followers couldn’t handle it. They were offended and left Him. To the modern Christian who’s been taught that you have to be nice to people, this is difficult to swallow.
And what about the time Jesus didn’t do anything about John, His cousin, facing being beheaded; or the time when Jesus deliberately avoided the funeral of His friend Lazarus. To the modern Christian who’s been taught that you have to be nice to people, this is difficult to understand, therefore, it’s easier to not even face it or evaluate it; rather, just stick with the fact that Jesus is nice and understanding and don’t rock the apple cart.
In Matthew 10, Jesus explains why He talks in parables. He does it so people won’t understand the truth and so they won’t get converted. To the modern Christian this is unfair and even rude, but that’s because Christians don’t understand the love of God; they’ve been taught that if you are good, Jesus will be good to you. The bible doesn’t teach that; humanism teaches it. The bible teaches that if you serve God you’ll be persecuted … all that live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. The bible teaches that God has the right to act in whatever way he sees fit, after all, He’s the creator. To judge God for not doing it right is arrogance.
The simple answer is, when ‘I think I’m better than you’; but arrogance is also “you will not make feel below you”. Arrogance blames the other person for making me do it. The underlying issue with fake people is inferior vs. superior. Fake people hate superior people and hate being made to feel inferior. Fake people believe in the principle of fairness, especially when bad is stacked up against them. Thus fake people are envious of any status that others have which makes them feel below them. Arrogance comes from the desperate need to be valued at least equal if not above everyone else, and if not, then it’s not fair.
This mightn’t sound like arrogance, so let’s say it another way … ‘you will not tell me I’m no good’ is not an expression of the love of God, it’s an expression of the love of ME and an expression of MY rights. If it’s not the love of God, it’s fake and selfish and sin.
This arrogance won’t take responsibility for its own actions; it always blames the other person. Thus arrogance can’t repent. You can’t repent unless you bear the full responsibility of your reactions and actions. If you shift responsibility, you’re blaming someone else and thus you can’t and won’t see the need to repent. Fake love blames you for not giving me what I would give you, or blames you for not being sensitive to MY needs. It’s totally selfish and arrogant but presents as nice. Thus fake love believes compassion is when you are sensitive to my needs and requirements and if you’re not then you’re uncompassionate. It judges you for not keeping it happy.
The love of God doesn’t base its behaviour on other people’s behaviour nor does it base its reactions on other people’s behaviour. The love of God is ultimately and primarily interested in what the Lord wants, and not into defending my rights.
You can measure fake people through the door of correction. They hate being corrected because it makes them feel bad, inferior or even unliked. Hebrews 12:8 states that if you are not correctable you are not a Christian. If you take the correction on the outside, but inwardly mock the corrector or inwardly discredit and devalue the corrector’s authority or opinion, or poo-hoo the correction, or explain away why the correction is over the top, know that you are a fake Christian.
Thus, fake love loves to judge and correct people and point out their wrongs, but at the same time doesn’t correct anything that would make itself feel bad or threaten its position e.g. a daughter’s or son’s fornication, or the divorce issue. It goes with the flow and calls it love and acceptance of their sin because we’re all sinners. It doesn’t confront heavy issues; it silently condones them. The biblical strategy is…They that forsake the law praise the wicked but such as keep the law contend with them, Proverbs 28:4, and this is confirmed in 1 Corinthians 5. Fake love lies about being in love; it’s ultimately only concerned about its own well-being and develops the art of camouflage and adapts to its environment to get what it wants.
May God use these thoughts to challenge your comfortable complacency.
Pastor Wayne O’Brien