The Opportunity to Love

Sometimes I feel overcome by the needs of the world. I feel like the small things I do won’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Mother Teresa contradicted this thought by teaching us that,

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

We can talk about love, preach sermons about love, quote Scriptures about love, and long to love. Still, I think the bottom line is something like this:

The best way to learn the ways of love is to
live it,
try it,
do it,
and risk it.

We must enter into another person’s life and let someone into ours.

Jesus shows us the way by reminding us it’s people who matter. He teaches us to pour ourselves out, stop and help, bind up wounds, and look the outsiders in the eyes and remind them of their worth. The issues surrounding justice and poverty can frequently be over-spiritualized and turn quickly into theological or political conversations rather than practical action. 

Maybe we need to examine ourselves again. All too often Christians and churches try so hard to build beautiful buildings, plan fun programs, and stage events that would draw the biggest crowd possible for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus, however, called us to the insignificant. He compared our impact to a mustard seed, to yeast making its way through dough, slowly fermenting this world with love.

Let’s be honest, no one can change the entire world, but we can impact the worlds of some. In his book, Just Courage, Gary Haugen states this plainly:

He is inviting all of us on His great, costly expedition of transformation in the world—but we must respond. Are we coming or staying? Jesus is relentlessly issuing the invitation and forcing a choice to action. What are we going to do? I am much more interested in telling Jesus and others what I believe, but Jesus (and the watching world) knows that what I truly believe will be manifested in what I choose to do.

Sometimes the most significant things
we can do to change the world
come down to how we choose to live daily.

As we strive to do big things for Jesus, let’s not forget to befriend, love, and serve those in our own neighborhoods. Making a difference starts with our families, our communities, and those who fall naturally within the margins of our own lives.

Let’s never forget that helping one is always better than none, and doing something is always better than doing nothing. The world around us is filled with people God loves. The only way these people will ever feel Jesus’ love is if someone brings it to them.

That’s our cue to do something.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. | James 2:14-17

One thought on “The Opportunity to Love

  1. Thankful for this reminder to actually do something about the troubling things we see around us! We can talk about how sad and unfortunate things are all we want. But until we make a decision to do something about it, we’re not helping the situation. Yes, we care, but perhaps we just don’t care as much as we think we do – at least that’s what talking about something rather than actually doing something comes off as.

    As Christians, we need to be doers! We need to “risk it,” as you said! And it’s going to cost us – time, money, energy, etc.. But that’s what truly loving people looks like. I definitely agree that it can be overwhelming to think about how much change we want to see in the world.. but doing what we can, where we can, when we can is how we start to bring about that change! Thanks for sharing, Julie! 🙂

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