Love. An overused word. Let’s face it, even pointing out that it’s an overused word is an overdone point.
So, let’s not leave our focus there.
Let’s self-reflect on how we love, and if we love like Jesus did.
Are we truly loving in the way that Jesus loved as He walked this earth?
Do we walk alongside people that don’t meet our standards? Do we pour the love of Jesus into people outcast from our comfortable friend group? Do we go where the “sinners” are? Do we sacrifice even the idea of our safety to ensure someone has a chance to hear about Jesus? Do we call out hypocrisy rather than blindly following ideology? Do we stand in humility that we might not know all the answers, or do we hold onto our pride? Do we seek reconciliation over pretentiousness? Do we walk outside of the religious elite to reach the hand of a hurting person? Do we give our time and resources without expecting a return?
No doubt we can all say “No” to many of these, maybe all of them. Thankfully Jesus is the King of reconciling, even our self-centered hearts. He helps us to love as He did through reflecting His life by the Holy Spirit’s power.
Here are three points that made Jesus’ love distinct.
- Jesus loved by being present. He didn’t love by sitting inside his home (which He didn’t have by the way) and expecting people to come to Him. He went out. He sought people; He went to their gathering places; He went into the streets, and He even went to places the religious elite would dare not tread. And when He was with these people (most often the outcasts of society: women, diseased, disabled, poor, sinners, etc.), He saw them and not their labels, He was fully engaged with them, He was personal.
- Jesus loved by filling physical and spiritual needs. He didn’t focus His ministry on one extreme or the other. He embodied the perfect balance we have all been attempting to achieve since. He fed people, healed their bodies, offered economic opportunities, and championed for His rich followers to give to the poor, but all the releasing people from spiritual bondage, forgiving sins, and teaching truth. His Kingdom, this Gospel of hope, advances through proclamation and demonstration.
- Jesus loved with equity and dignity. His love did not disparage between social, economic, or moral status. He uplifted women by teaching them when other rabbis did not, He ate with tax collectors, the poor and outcast. He treated each with inherit dignity and respect for simply being a person.
This way of loving is challenging. This way of loving is demanding. This way of love is what Jesus commanded. Will we choose to lean into His grace and strength to accomplish this love?
Help us love our community to the world in this way! Find all local serve opportunities and upcoming short term trips at wc.org/events.