Lack of Love
Overcoming Sin through Christ
A Comprehensive List of Sins
The plan of this study is simple. We will look at a large number of sins, one by one, alphabetically. We will define the sin, describe it, and comment on it, along with noticing Scripture references on the particular entry. Some illustrations will be offered along with the description.
Lack of Love
A scribe came to Jesus and asked this pertinent question: “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’” (Mark 12:28-30). Jesus went on to say, “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (v. 31). It is clear that our Lord tells us that love for God and love for others are the chief commands of His Word.
If love is our greatest duty and responsibility, we might conclude that lack of love is our greatest sin! Scripture says that the character of God is love: “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). We are most like God when we are filled with love. Paul says, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you” (Ephesians 5:1-2a). We distinguish here between lack of love and hatred (which we examine elsewhere in this book). A lack of love may not involve active hostility or purposeful cruelty. It simply means that we do not love as we should. Love is an active good will that seeks the highest good of the beloved. “Love does no wrong to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10). And love will always do what is right to others. Paul says, “Through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
Love also gives to others what they need—whether it be a good word, the gospel, good advice, a helping hand, an interested moment of your time, a financial gift, or needed admonishment. We will remember that God loved and gave. For instance, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16a). “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Christ also loved and gave: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20). “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). We too demonstrate our love for others by what we do for their good. (This is far different from the “romantic” eros form of love that sees something beautiful in the object and then desires it. This agape love seeks the highest good of the object, whatever that may mean.)
Some may be deceived into thinking that they can remain totally uninvolved and still have love. They may reason, “I’ve never done anything bad toward a person. I’ve never harmed him. I’ve never hurt her. I just refuse to do anything for the person.” It is true that we can’t do everything for everyone we know or know about. That would be impossible and God doesn’t expect that. But we are responsible to do what we can to demonstrate our love. As Paul wrote, “Let all that you do be done in love” (1 Corinthians 16:14).
Take a look at 1 Corinthians 13, the great love chapter of the Bible. Paul describes love in these terms: “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. . .” (vv. 4-8a). This is how we show true love—we are patient with people, we are kind toward people, and we are not jealous toward people. But isn’t the reverse likewise true? If we fail to be patient, fail to be kind, and are jealous, doesn’t this manifest a lack of love? As we say, lack of love surely must be the greatest of sins.
The same is true regarding our love for God. If our love for God is demonstrated by our obedience (1 John 5:2-3) and if our love for Christ Jesus is shown by our willingness to obey Him (John 14:15, 21, 23-24), doesn’t an unwillingness to obey show a lack of love? This must be true. The next time you find yourself lax in your obedience toward God or even refusing to fully submit to the Lord Jesus in some particular, remember that you are not loving as you should love. You are failing to obey God’s greatest commands! You are committing a great sin!
 Our booklet, Love Relationships, explores the love that God and Christ have for us and the love that we should have for God, Christ, believers, unbelievers, and even enemies.