What is True Love?

When is true love manifested? Many people believe that true love is demonstrated when you party with the people close to you. We have come to believe that true love is when you are always on everybody’s lips as a good person or when your wealth attracts followers and you think they love you or when your relatives and friends make you to be their lord. We believe true love is demonstrated 
when our friends, relatives, church mates and men of God love us when we are able to help, give or tithe mightily, when our ability to fend for everybody is unquestionable, when we still have a good job that makes us to be angels to the need or when our business is doing fine and our house becomes the house of Moses. We feel loved when everything in our lives is fine and many people in our society hold us in high esteem. 

Many people believe that true has no room for error. It is for this reason that even where a couple appears to have found true love and they esteem each other to be perfect, especially if they are Christians and suddenly when one of them is found to be unfaithful, their marriage automatically breaks. Many marriages have already been broken despite striving to keep and maintain a public image that such a marriage is still intact. This is where you find in public, at church or when being visited by friends, such a couple pretend to love one another when in fact their marriage died a long time ago, but they choose to live in pretence for the sake of their social status or for the fear of become a laughing stock. They live in this way because they believe true love no longer exists between such couples. Many couples end up divorcing because they believe true love no longer exists between them.

When a Pastor is caught pants down, the flock runs away and they forget this is the same Pastor or man of God who used to tell them jump and they jump or sit and they sit. They forget that this is the same man of God they held in high esteem. They forget that this is the same man of God they used to call Dad or Papa. The flock forgets that this is the same Pastor who used to distribute spiritual as well as material blessings to them during their days of worship. On one hand, where the flock does not run away from the sinful Pastor, powerful assemblies have hauled men of God out of the congregation by force because they have been made to believe by the Devil that the Pastor was an imposter of true love and many Pastors that did the great works of God and were a blessing to the Body of Christ have been forsaken and are now living in isolation and in condemnation. In today’s complex and capitalistic gospel world, on the other hand, Pastors that have sinned (caught pants down or have impregnated a church member or have been involved or adulterous affairs) and when morality, ethical standards and true love for the flock as well as for God demands for their own will to step down from the pulpit, they do not do that because of the love for money and not for the flock and God, but for the fear losing their status and earthly lavish life styles. But when a church member stops tithing due to the loss of income; business, marriage, political office or social standing, he or she immediately losses favour with the church or any type of relationship they are in. Today many such members that have been a blessing to the church in particular and the Body of Christ in general have been forgotten and are living in absolute poverty as if they never used to either tithe or give offerings to the church.

We have come to believe that true love is when the Pastor is always mentioning your name in front of the congregation because of your good deeds to the church and more especially to the Pastor. But suddenly when the church discovers that the source of money for your good deeds to the church and the Pastor was coming from pushing drugs, child tracking, Satanism, prostitution, robberies or from indeed any sort of disgusting crime, then everyone will disassociate himself or herself from you. They will run away from you and they will even call you all sorts of names but not to return the blood money and property given to them because they believe at the time you were blessing the church and the Pastor with blood money and property, they did not know the source of your wealth and that at the time of your giving, they had prayed for the money and property and God had sanctified them. Hence, when your sin is exposed, they would rather run away from you without returning the blood money and property already used in the construction of a church building, air church television programmes, used to buy a bus for the church or build the Pastor’s mansion.

Yes True love has obligations, responsibilities, conditions, milestones and standards to nurture it, build it and protect it. We have been brought to believe that true love thrives or lives on certain agreed premises and when these premises change, then it means even true love disappears in that relationship. This is not true at all, it is a fallacy and it is not Biblical and it does not fit in the grand plan of God’s redemption of mankind. No, true love does not break or disappear no matter the matter. God did not give us grace to sin, but to overcome the failures of the flesh and to genuinely shame the Devil. Grace should not be abused to promote sin among couples and genuine followers of Christ neither does God give us a standard that we can manage to keep. When the premises, that is faithfulness, righteousness, holiness, honest, truthfulness, trustworthiness, transparency and accountability that appear to define or to hold true love together fail, true love does not fail, true love does not forsake, true love cannot be drowned by problems or situations church members, real friends or relatives face or go through. True love does not change according to the changes in your status or life style.

True love is the basis of repentance and restoration. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, it hurt and they were punished, but this was not the end. Yes true love punishes but does not forsake. Even when Adam and Eve were still in the process of their punishment, God clothed them. He made clothes for them. True love forgives and restores. (Ge.3:15). On one hand, true love is demonstrated not by running away, when genuine people we trust, people we hold in high esteem, the people we believe in, when the people who inspire us and add value to our daily lives suddenly fall from grace in whatever situation, but by mounting a comeback strategy to restore dignity, honour and livelihood to the glory of God while on the other hand true love also requires that Pastors who have fallen from grace should truthfully step down from their Pastoral functions until God restores them in one way or another. A Pastor who falls from grace and does not step down and relocate until God says otherwise neither has the love for the flock nor the love of God. Remember God loved us while we were still sinners. We love God because first he loved us. God is not a failure and failure is not his portion. Stepping down is not a sign of failure, but gives room for genuine repentance, a weapon of mass destruction the Devil does to want to hear.

Yes true love puts a demand on us all to be honest, truthful, faithful, trustworthy, transparent and accountable to other people in whatever relationships we find ourselves in. These are the premises that man as used to define what true love should be based on. Yes even in our failure, true love demands for us to be honest, truthful, faithful, trustworthy, transparent and accountable in our repentance. True love is God in man, Emmanuel. When you know that your wife, husband, relative, siblings, friends or church members are vessels carrying God according to their confession, no matter what can happen to them, you will not run away from them, but you will fight to the core of your life to protect them from being handed over to the Devil. God fought a good fight of faith by sending his only begotten son Jesus Christ to come down on Earth to redeem what he had created in his likeliness and image.

We should also remember that Protection and redemption are not a substitute for punishment. Love and punishment are sides of the same coin, but punishment does not mean abandoning or forsaking the person you claim you loved so much unless the offence or the sin is irredeemable. The Devil is a liar. For many years he has tried to prove to us that true love does not exist, but the manifestation of true love is when Christ Jesus died for us on the cross of Calvary yet when we were still sinners. The whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation teaches us that true love does not change no matter the situation. Therefore, a person who loves you when you do not have money (it means himself or herself has the money), will always love you when you finally have the money and will still love you even at the time when your money runs away from you one day. Such people, Pastors, relatives, spouses, siblings or friends will never leave you nor forsake you no matter what you go through because they truly love you. Hence, be weary of the people or men of God who pretend to love you because you have money or status, for this is a sure way to know that when your money leaves you one day, they will also leave you and the story of the end of your life will be a miserable one.

My dear brethren, God does not change. True love is God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever no matter the matter in your life. My prayer for you today is that you may find this true love in whatever relationship you are in.

Author: Bishop Lloyd Situmbeko