Love: Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing

In 1972 Eastern Airlines Flight #401 to Miami was using the most advanced commercial airliner in the world being flown by a pilot with 30 years of experience.  On their final approach the indicator light that the landing gear was in place had not illuminated.  While the pilot, co-pilot, and flight engineer focused on the $12 burned out light bulb the airplane crashed into the Everglades killing 99 people because no one was flying the plane.  The moral of the story is: keep the main thing the main thing.

To be distracted from the main thing has consequences. Recently I was involved with a relational conflict between two church planters.  I asked one of the pastors when was the last time he had told his fellow pastor that he loved him, after an awkward silence he replied timidly “a couple of years ago.”   Meanwhile, I spoke at a church that has a history of interpersonal conflict.  After the service the pastor asked if he could walk me to my car to ask me a question.  He asked: “Do you think that it is important for me to tell the individuals in my congregation that I love them?”  At that moment I began to understand the reason for their church’s relational troubles.

Peter tells us our main thing: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 Our main thing is based on the truth that our God is love (1 John 4:16), our message is love (Romans 5:8), and our distinction is our love for one another (John 13:35).

In closing a quote from the poetry of Thomas Traheme:

You never enjoy the world aright. . .till you love men so as to desire their happiness, with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own; till you delight in God for being good to all; you never enjoy the world . . . [1]

[1] Thomas Traherne, Selected Poems and Prose (New York: Penguin Classics, 1991)

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