If loving people was easy then our world would have a lot less problems. I have meet many people who have left the church. I myself left the church for a period of time. Why? Why do we leave? Things can be complicated but overall it is the lack of love. If I am not receiving love from the church then I feel like I do not belong. Going to church becomes a burden when we are already at my limits. If I cannot belong to the church than why go?
I belong to God. I worship God. I serve God. I walk in relationship with God but I do not need the church for these things. Why do I need the church? I need a place to belong. I need a place to receive love. I need a place to be refined.
The church should be the most loving place in this world. Similarly everyone should feel like they belong in a church. This is not an easy task but I believe it is the number 1 task God has given us. We should be loving people.
So how do you love a person that is a stranger to you? A good place to start is to get to know them, take interest in them and most important try to be present with them in life struggles. Rejoice when they rejoice, grieve when they grieve, hold there hand when they need a hand to hold. What NOT to do. Guilt, shame, judge, try to fix them and leave them when life gets hard.
Loving people is hard, for we are often not easy to love. But Jesus loved those no one would love and as his followers we should do the same. We have limits, we cannot love every person but if every Jesus follower found one person in their life that needed love and poured themselves into this person we would be making progress.
So to all, let’s stop and ask God to show you one person in your live that needs love. Commit to loving them in every way you can and don’t walk away when life gets hard. Do this and you will be acting as Jesus acted. Do this and you may change a life. Amen.