I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to truly love people. As Christians, we are called to love others. Jesus said that the world would know we are His disciples by our love for others, but is that what we are known for? I’ve been reminded a few times this week through conversations and quotes I’ve read that we need to learn to love more than we are. We spend more time judging others than we do loving them and that’s a problem.
One of the quotes I read this week came from Mother Teresa. It said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” We have to fight against our human nature with this one. It’s easy to sit and judge, but difficult to go and love. Loving others requires us to act and it’s not an easy thing to do at times. It can get messy and dirty. On the other hand, judging is pretty easy to do. It requires little effort on our part, and as humans, we love to take the easy route so we default to judging.
Another quote I was reminded again came from Peter Strople. He said, “When in doubt, love.” Ask yourself how you can show God’s love to other people you come across each day. What if you were the only person God was going to put in their path who could show them love? You never know what a difference you could be in someone’s life simply by showing love where others judge. Mark Batterson said, “Inaction is action. Indecision is a decision.” By not doing anything, you are telling them everything.
I also read an article about Uncle Si Robertson from Duck Dynasty this week. He was asked what his favorite verse was. He said, “John 3:17. Everybody knows verse 16, but nobody looks at verse 17.” In the Message it says, “God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help.” Jesus spent His time building relationships with the people that others were too busy judging. Why wouldn’t we want to follow His model?
I’m writing this today to myself as much as to anyone else that bears the name Christian. We are known more for judging than for our loving. We are known for pointing fingers instead of offering helping hands. We’ve been so caught up in being in the world, not of the world that we’ve built walls between the ourselves and the ones we’re called to love. It’s no wonder that church growth is comprised mainly of switchers instead of new converts. We spend time and money trying to build a better service than the church down the road instead of spending time and money on things to build the relationships with the people who have been judged by the world.
It all comes down to each one of us loving the people God places in our path each day. It’s not our minister’s job to do it, it’s ours. A preacher can’t touch as many lives as we, the body, can collectively. It’s hard to grow the Church when we’ve separated ourselves from the ones who need God’s love. Jesus hung out with leppers, prostitutes and the worst of sinners because that’s who needed His love the most. It’s time we followed His example, got our hands dirty and built relationships with unbelievers to show them His unconditional love. Don’t take the easy route today, Go get your hands dirty and love others.