have you ever had a passion? an urge? a longing to scrape your way to the top of a mountain, and scream down a bit of life-changing information?
i've been feeling a stirring. a challenge from God to be different. to think and see as He does. to love as He does. which is exactly why i was so moved by our recent readings. love. God's love. do we really even know anything about it?
I recently read a quote that has turned my spiritual life around. it reads:
"I like your Christ. but I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ." - Gandhi
planted deep inside this quote, is the urgent plea of Jesus. "BE LIKE ME! MIRROR ME! LOVE LIKE ME!"
in our study, we are challenged to "love the unlovely". anyone who has spent any amount of time in church knows that this is something very much talked about on sunday mornings (i.e: love your enemies, do unto others, etc. etc.) but it's not something that is actively participated in. it's so easy to say we love the people who hurt us, or who do wrong to others-- but when we truly examine our lives, we find them full of judgment. we strive to love the unlovely, but then cast our stares at the scantily clad woman on the street corner. we turn the channel in disgust when the evening news broadcasts another murderer. we whisper in our offices about the couple having an affair. we hear of a teen who shot a fellow student and we immediately point the finger of blame at the government, their parents, the video game industry. we hold a grudge against the person who talked about us. lied to us. hurt us. at times, we may even raise our eyes to heaven and thank God that we are so un-like the troubled people in this world.
but are we?
we teach that "sin is sin!". we claim that "all have fallen short of the glory of God". and yet, as a result of the sinful worldview in which we see all things, we come to believe that our lies, gossip, anger, or coveting are less harmful than the greater sins of someone else. but God doesn't see it that way. He loves every being on this earth-- and gives each of us the opportunity to be washed clean. in every man, He sees potential. and He loves. Oh-how-He-loves--- every last one of us.
it's just us, His followers, that can't help but pass judgement. who can't help but believe that we, in some small way, are better than the murderer. the rapist. the robber. the prostitute. the terrorist. but we're all the same. lost sinners. the murderer is one prayer away from heaven. and i am one sin away from needing to get on my knees again.
make it your new passion in life to love. to see a person and really, truly see them as God sees them. as His child. His blessed creation. watch your heart melt and break. watch as your humility brings you to Jesus feet.
let HIS LOVE be your mission.