Something bugs me on and off again and it probably has to do with my own tension on the subject.
You see, it’s easy to love people who are lovable.
I’ve been thinking about the convenience of love and friendship as I think of ways to conspire a movement of people who are eager to exhibit Christ like love in their communities and networks.
One thing I’ve concluded: it’s way easier said than done.
In the Bible there’s this part called John where in the 15th chapter Jesus starts talking about his relationships with God the Father, himself, and his disciples. He gets on the topic of love and how,
the greatest commandement is this: to love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:12-13)
Most know the story of Christ’s death on the Christ, laying one’s life down for a friend.
Then there’s this part,
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends…..(John 15:15)
Here’s where something gets lost in translation. The word ‘friend’ isn’t how you and I would regard a friend. Heck, nowadays ‘friend’ means little especially when we have 1000s on Facebook.
The word used is essentially one of the greatest connections you can have with another person apart from a marriage or parenthood. Beyond besties for life (cause usually it’s never for life).
The Creator of the universe is saying, among other things, that you and I are intimately and intricately connected around a brand of giving and selfless LOVE.
With that example who are we in turn supposed to love?
Only our neighbor?
Only the people we know?
Only those who appreciate our efforts?
Only those who reciprocate?
Only the people who are lovable?
I think our love needs to be holistic. Yes, love our spouse, love our kids, invest deeply into a few great friends, but also reach into a few neighbors and even the oppressed you don’t really know. All are included and to miss one particular group is to withhold your participation in Christ’s GREATEST commandment( apart from love the Lord your God).
How’s this working for you? Are you acting as the alerting force for the unfolding Kingdom of God in our world today?
This post isn’t meant to be a guilt trip, it’s meant to catalyze a simple choice. That’s it.
One choice. One difference. One change in your routine that reaches out.
Extending into a Kingdom purpose is like going swimming in a lake. Most of us took it slow, one toe here, a foot there, get up to your knees, back up, throw a little water on your back, go to your waist, think about quitting, count to three to bend your knees and wet your torso, don’t make it to three, try again, make it to 2.5, offer internal encouragement, make fun of yourself for waiting so long, notice your legs aren’t cold despite being in the water for minutes, take a couple more bold steps, almost there, and then, 5 minutes later, you’re in the water and oh man was it nice! In fact, you can’t believe you held out for so long. Refreshing, lasting, fun–you could swim all day!
Maybe that was just me.
But maybe your journey to love, and love beyond yourself, starts with one small action too, to stick your toe in the water and let the tension fall away….