I talk a lot about loving other people, but it’s often difficult to actually be played out. It’s so easy to love and show compassion to people that are like me. Or it’s easy to love someone that struggles with something that I’ve struggled with in the past. It’s not always so easy to love someone that is different than me. Though this is generally the case, I’ve come to learn how to do this a lot in the last few years of working at LIFEchurch.
I work with all different kinds of people. I work with conservative people and liberal people. I work with white people and black people. I work with mean people and nice people. I work with old people and young people. I’ve come to learn that I grow the most when I am hanging out with people that are not like me. I learn to love people that I never expected I would be able to. Growing up as a young follower of Jesus I thought the best way to love people was to correct them. Or fix what was wrong and help change what they were doing wrong. In case you don’t know this, it doesn’t work.
I’ve found the best way for me to love people is to simply be in relationship with them. I have this friend that radically changes me whenever I connect with him. And I think all he wants me to do is be friends with as many people as I can, and as I become friends with them I get to introduce them to him. And when that happens things change. This is loving people. Spending time, energy, and getting past what I think is ‘right’ for them to be doing, and start just loving them where they are at.
In case you didn’t pick up on it, this friend is Jesus. And being in relationship with people that most religious types didn’t like were kind of his gig.