Did you choose not to let Jesus love today? Yesterday? Last week?
Like seeing a new person in church all alone, but not going up to talk to them. Or inviting your friends to a church event, but not the “outcast” standing just 10 feet away from you. There are times even when we yell or snap at others when they make us angry, or irritate us. And many times we don’t tell a coworker about Jesus when the opportunity arrises. We go through many moments in each day, and encounter many people during different moments. God has put us in every one of those moments, in every situation, in every conversation. In those moments, situations, conversations, we have a choice. We can either let Christ’s love spill out of us, or keep it contained inside.
God commands us to love one another several times in the Bible. But the book that sticks out to me the most when thinking about love is 1 John. In chapter 3, John specifically talks about how we, as children of God, are to love one another. So many areas that could be pointed out, but verse 18 sums most of it up:
“Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).” (1 John 3:18 AMPLIFIED)
We can go to church and talk about loving others, we can think of the examples of how Christ loves others, we can even think of ways we could maybe help others. But how does that impact anyone else – how can Christ touch other lives through us when we don’t? But when we love in deed and truth, or in practice and sincerity, then we choose to let Jesus love others today through us.
I have had several instances where I chose not to let Christ love people. They are new to the church, Youth Group, or Kids Club, but in my selfishness, I don’t make the effort to get out of my comfort zone and love them – like saying hi, making conversation, asking them how they are doing, making them feel welcome and loved – simple things really, just showing that I care, and letting Jesus’ light and love shine through me. God hit me with that reality last night, and now I pray that He would give me another chance, and that when that time arises I would snatch it like nothing ever before, and love others by His strength and love. And He does give us strength, especially in times where we don't feel like loving others, or even know what to say or do. God is love, and He can and will show us how to love!
“This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.” (1 John 3:23)
As followers of Christ, let us follow His example, and seek others to love, rather than letting them find us. It is hard to find a light switch in a strange, dark room – let’s turn the light on for them.