We are born with a default setting of brokenness. A rippled effect throughout the course of history vibrates in us that someone is wrong; and we feel the weight of it as we run from it. Since we were originally created to feel love, acceptance, wholeness, and peace, we naturally try to run from these antithetical stories via distraction, intellectualism, legalism, liberalism, or a host of other ways.
But we cannot escape the trouble within
When the reality of this brokenness grows up, it is called condemnation. Over time, our hearts move from simply observing this brokenness to mourning within it. Condemnation is the guilt that comes with seeing the things we have done to contribute to this fallen world: broken relationships, lost opportunities, lack of discipline, fractured love, ulterior motives, relentless addictions, and so many other things. This condemnation and guilt accumulates and our hearts are so heavy that we actually poison ourselves with the weight of this fractured story.
But there is a solution
God is greater than our heart. He has actually taken a world that rebelled against His shalom, and infused His love and grace in it in such a way as to heal the brokenness. Jesus is the infusion of God's love into the world. And not simply a passive love, but Jesus actually took on both the brokenness of all humanity and also the condemnation that spawns as a result of it, and put them to death when He died. Him assuming our place in judgment means that our source and substance of guilt is not just covered over, but released.
Our hearts can now be confident before God. For those who follow Jesus, the truth of this expansive, freeing love which drew up Christ on the cross has now been unlocked within us. Out of this grace unlocked, we can then love others in a way that is not fractured by the broken love of the world around us. We can love others without obligation or motive, because the true love of Jesus longs to serve others out of who they are, not out of what they can give us. Good deeds are much more potent than good words.
And not only can this new, whole love equip us to serve others without obligation, it also allows us to serve others in a way that calls them into this new reality. True love in action always draws people into truth about who they are and who they could be. Loving others in truth serves them in a way that is both self-reflective and Christ-reflective, deeds and truth are married under the banner of Jesus' love.
"Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything."
- Saint John