There is something that, honestly, I hate hearing about. It makes me mad and upset, breaks my heart, and kind of brings out a “James and John” type of response to mind (they were the ones who wanted to call down fire from heaven and destroy a city…aptly nicknamed the Sons of Thunder).
This thing that so disturbs me is when I’m talking to someone and they don’t care about God–or the church or the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for them and the eternal life He offers if they would simply trust in Him–because of people who claimed to be Christians and yet were so quick to judge or condemn, talk down to, and drive away these people who were in desperate need instead of love, encouragement, and a listening ear and heart.
Does the world need Jesus? Yes, absolutely, 100%, without a doubt. I believe that with all my heart and it is the reason that I am in ministry today.
Does the world need us to be the judge, jury, and executioner? No. People go through enough pain and suffering and hardship that we don’t need to add to it.
Jesus says that the world will know His disciples by their love for one another (John 13:35) and Jesus also says “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” So why not be known for showing the love of Christ? Showing the love of Christ doesn’t condone sin and leave it be as is, but it gently rebukes, lovingly corrects, and always reveals Christ in every action. Jesus didn’t condemn the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11, but He loved her enough to forgive her and instruct her to “go and sin no more.” Jesus added value to the lives of people. We have the same opportunity.
I recently read in The Prayer Factory by Sammy Tippit a story about a woman who kept trying to get her husband to commit his life to Christ. He writes, “For many months his wife was concerned about his spiritual warfare. She continually witnessed to him, but he did not respond. Finally, she quit talking to him about God and started talking to God about him. He then surrendered his life to Jesus.”
Now, this doesn’t mean to stop talking to people about the Good News of Jesus Christ, but it means bathe that in prayer. Don’t judge or condemn others, but love them enough to pray for them. While praying for them, begin a relationship with them, and love them to the Lord. God is good. And faithful. And true. And He is the redeemer and transformer of hearts and lives.
Be the type of person in someone’s life that leads them even one step closer to coming to faith in Christ…not the type that drives someone away from the loving embrace of Jesus Christ.
I hope this encourages you today to step out of your comfort zone and love someone you may have previously written off :)