Christianity boils down to 1 word…LOVE. And the way I see it, we aren’t doing too well. When the world sees me, is the first thing that comes to mind love or does my life reflect judgement, negativity and indifference. Does the world see action or do they just hear a bunch of words.
When Jesus tells us to love our neighbour, he’s not only talking about those we like and who are like us. He’s referring to E V E R Y B O D Y! I can’t pick and choose who I’m going to love. Jesus died for everybody so I need to love everybody – not in word, but in deed. Love isn’t a feeling… it’s an action. It’s what we do that proves our love, not what we say. We say so many things we don’t mean, how then can “I love you” prove that we love someone, if it doesn’t show in our actions.
I know that God loves us whether we love him back or not. I know that not only because He only tells me, but because he acted on that love by dying on a cross and continues to act on it every single day. The world won’t know that we love them if our words say so (and so often our words don’t even say so), they will know we love them if we prove it. When Jesus explains this concept, He talks about a Samaritan. Now Samaritans were people who were considered outcasts. The “don’t mix with them if you want to be in the cool group” type of people. And the Samaritans weren’t particularly fond of the Jews either because of the way they were treated. But when a Samaritan saw a man (who probably despised him) in trouble, he showed love. Not by stopping and telling him, “I love you and I will pray for you” before moving on. But by physically helping him up and getting him help. This Samaritan might have been on the way to an important meeting. He might have had a date. Maybe he was going to miss his favourite TV program or miss the cricket test!!!
But he stopped and DID something about the plight of someone who didn’t think much of him. You see, it’s easy to love someone who loves you and treats you with respect. It’s a bit tougher to love the ones who hate you, bully you and verbally abuse you. That’s who, we as Christian, are called to love. It never means we condone the behaviour, but it means we love them anyway because God loved us while we were still sinners. And to do this is really tough and it looks a bit messy sometimes. It takes a whole lot of faith to do it. But I would rather do something tough and messy in faith, than do nothing at all in fear of what my friends might say. Or in fear of what the reaction might be from the person.
I remember once sacrificing so much of my time to be involved in a community meal service that we offered. One night I was threatened to be killed by someone because I asked their son not to bully the other kids. Here I was spending 5 hours every week cooking and serving a meal to people for free, and they threaten to kill me. Well, I felt so sorry for myself. I didn’t deserve that and had myself a huge pity party. What I had to learn is that it takes faith and strength to love everybody. It will hurt sometimes. We will be bitterly disappointed sometimes. But we must do it anyway. God is calling us to love. He doesn’t guarantee that people will reciprocate. In fact, you can be certain that you will sometimes be treated like dirt. Love them anyway, not because you like to be treated like dirt, but because God tells us to do it.
There will always come a time that the people who respond negatively and violently to your compassion, will wonder why you still bother. And when they know that you are a Christian, it will get them thinking. Persistence is important. God is persistent with us. He never gives up. He never let’s go. We should do the same with others. There’s a world out there in desperate need. People are starving to death, living in squalor, being abused, addicted to things and looking for hope. We have the answer to what they are looking for. God…. And God is LOVE.
Have an amazing day.