Monday, February 28, 2011

an obsessed love

Just because you are nice to someone does not mean that you'll stand out. Just because you do a good deed, does not mean that people will know that you are a Christian.

Jesus teaches that:
32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."
Luke 6:32-36

We are His. We are called to stand out--to show the World who He is. If all we do is the minimum or the norm, how is that showing Jesus' love? Simply, it isn't. Jesus asks us to do a hard thing: to love our enemies. To LOVE those who hate us and who do us wrong. To forgive those who hate us--hurt us. Do you realize how hard that is?

(I can't remember where this image is from...)
Once, there was a woman driving in rush hour traffic. She was in a hurry and did not want to wait for the cars, so she decided to take a short cut--despite a feeling in her gut telling her to be patient. She turned down a side street and saved herself five minutes of driving. That five minutes, though, put her at an intersection where a man was crossing on his bike. Before she had time to react, she had hit him. His head hit pavement and he died.

This woman was in shock. 911 was dialed and the legalities were taken care of. She didn't go to prison. A few weeks later, she paid visit to the man's family.

Do you know what they did? Can you guess?

They had every right to be angry--to hate her. She killed a father, a husband, an uncle, a friend. They had every right to shun her. But, they didn't. They opened their arms to accept her and forgave her. You see, God had spoken to this family and they understood they needed to love this woman who made a mistake. They needed to share Jesus with this soul who was hurting.

Can we also do that? Can we love those who hurt us? Hate us? Even when our loving seems to have no effect on them whatsoever?

"People who are obsessed with Jesus give freely and openly, without censure.  Obsessed people love those who hate them and who can never love them back."  ~Francis Chan, Crazy Love


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