Loving the Unlovely

Have you ever found it difficult to surround yourself with those who are most unlike you? Do you secretly disdain others who have attributes that you find distasteful? Sometimes we hold in contempt those who do not have the best clothing, those who are homeless, obese, uneducated and more.  I want to challenge all of us (including myself), to reach down deeply within our hearts and recognize that we are what others may not like. We all have traits that rankle others, have all been in circumstances of which we are not proud, and have behaviors that others disparage, yet Jesus Christ loves us in spite of our shortcomings. He died for the sins of the entire world, not just for those of us who present ourselves well (or at least we believe that we do). All of us can see the plank in our sisters’ eyes, but not in our own. If Jesus had not surrounded himself with sinners, how would the gospel have reached us?image

Let’s humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, and befriend those who have unlovely behaviors. It is difficult, but someone befriended us (like Christ) and overlooked our faults so that our needs could be met. How many people do we come in contact with  who are hurting and may not know the gospel of Jesus Christ? The Bible tells us to go into all the world to preach the gospel. When we go into the world, we must also be willing, if able, to meet the needs of those to whom we are ministering. We cannot preach the gospel to someone, see that he has no food to eat, and not help him meet his basic need. In the book of James, we learn that faith without works is dead. The Bible commands us in Isaiah 58: 6-12 to share our food with the hungry, to give shelter to the homeless, to give clothes to the needy, and to help our relatives. God promises us that if we look after those in need, by loving them, we will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. We love others because He has commanded us, and because He first loved us. Let’s show love to someone who seems unlovely, and watch to see God use us to rebuild broken down ruins. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with the knowledge of His will to equip us to carry out this task. May God bless us in all of these endeavors. Remember, we are fishers of men.image

For further reflection read Isaiah 58; James 2; Acts 1:8

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