There's more turmoil, fighting, hatred and all out, absolutely ugly, un-Jesus like behavior out there than I even know how to emotionally process.
And that's not just the secular world.
Christians often seem to be right there in the middle of it, forgetting that Jesus taught us to love--that the two greatest commands He gave us were to love God with every ounce of our being and to love everyone else like we love ourselves. But we don't.
In spite of how evil, perverted, and confusing the world has become, we are still called to love. God never said we should become an exclusive club and only love our own people. He told us to love--no stipulations.
Somehow we've strayed from "loving the sinner but hating the sin" to hating the sin, the sinner and anything that might possibly be connected.
We're scared of certain types of sinners and their sin, so we all but condemn them to hell rather than try to reach them and believe that God is powerful enough to change them.
We're scared of people who have a different religious preference than we do, so we're content to let them be homeless, starving refugees or, even worse, dead because they couldn't make it to freedom safely. We certainly couldn't accept them into our country or our homes, because they might have been taught to persecute Christians. Oh wait..remember Paul? God changed him from being the biggest persecutor of the church to being one of the men who is hugely responsible for the growth of the early church. The next Paul might just be seeking asylum in our country, waiting for you to show him what the love of Jesus looks like.
We're scared of investing our time into people we don't already know, because these people
might require something of us. They might be needy. We might not like them. They might not be "our kind of people." So we're content to stay in our comfortable little routines and ignore God's call to share His love with others.
Let's remember this, we are ALL sinners. I am thankful my sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, but that doesn't make me superior to people who aren't Christians. It actually gives me an even bigger responsibility to love these people, in spite of whatever is "wrong" with them.
Not only are we all sinners, but we are ALL created by, loved by, and made in the image of God. These people that we're so scared of are people. Human beings. Part of our family. They're all just prodigal children who need to come home. Who need to be loved. Who need to see that there is something more to this whole Jesus thing than becoming a superior person who gets to condemn sinners.
Let's not write people off because of who we think they are. Only God can know who they can become when His love washes over them.
They will never come to know the love of God through our hate, our apathy, our condemnation, our avoidance.
They will know we are Christians by our love.
And that love--the true, sacrificial love that we're called to live out--is a love that turns heads and hearts toward Jesus.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13