Jesus & Jon (Bon Jovi)

Sometimes I sing along. I can’t help myself. When an ‘80s hair band blares over my YMCA’s loudspeakers, my elliptical machine’s heart rate monitor notes an increase. My aching legs climb those fake hills a little faster.

This morning I happened to hit senior citizen hour at the Y. No one else appeared to mouth the lyrics as Pandora took us back in time. They obviously were not high schoolers in 1986, when our days began with Bon Jovi and Aqua Net hairspray.

“You give love a bad name. Bad name.”

The phrase repeated over and over as my legs pumped faster. Faster, faster faster!

Do we, Lord? Do we give LOVE a bad name? Do I?

colosseum2I came across two guys talking about love today. John and Jon. The first John writes these words: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8 NKJV)

The second Jon sings:                                                                                                        “I play my part
And you play your game
You give love a bad name (bad name)…”

What does one have to do with the other? Perhaps nothing, except for being part of the stew that is my brain. But, I’m asking you to s-t-r-e-t-c-h with me at the end of my workout to make this connection:

John the apostle tells me if I don’t love, I don’t know God.

Jon the ’80s hair band singer says it’s possible for a person to give love a bad name.

Jesus our Savior says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  (John 13:34 NKJV)

If I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I am commanded to love.

  • If I am unloving (to my spouse, my kids, my neighbor, my church member, myself), something is wrong.
  • If I’m just playing a game, somebody’s gonna see through my facade.
  • If I’m the one giving LOVE a bad name, it’s time to connect to the Vine.

Love is the litmus test. Let’s not give it a bad rap.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus (John 13:35 NKJV)

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