How quickly the Lord began to work on me after writing Even If I Forget. As I prayed for the people our congregation was bringing to receive a Thanksgiving meal, I realized that, though we desire to love the people we bring in, we look at them as inferior. It’s quite hidden, even from ourselves, but it’s there. I really believe it’s this way throughout the body of Christ – with a few bright spots here and there who have already grown past this. You see, we reach out to the poor, homeless, drug addicts, alcoholics, etc., and we truly want to love them and bring them to Christ, or to a greater knowledge of Who He is. Underneath, however, I suspect many of us are judging the very ones we are trying to love. We know that they have chosen the things that got them into that predicament, so we give with the attitude, “Here’s God’s love. If you take it, you’ll be better off. If not, it’s your problem.” While that may truly be the case, will they be convinced of the reality of God’s love? Or will they just see another group of people doing what they think they need to do?
I know this is strong, but it’s so important to let the Lord’s heart come to the surface in us so that we will begin to deliver His love – not ours – when we reach out to others. God sees each of us beyond whatever sins, problems, and mindsets we may have. He sees past the drugs, adultery, gossip, pornography, etc., though He does, indeed, see them. He knows that those who have never believed and received His life might choose to continue forever in their ways, but He goes so far past those things as He loves with unconditional love. He doesn’t look down on them at all, no matter their life choices. Nor does He look down on us, the ones who have received His Life, though arrogance and pride have been our choice of attitude towards the lost.
We have made a distinction in our minds between those who, through no fault of their own, are in dire straits and those who “got themselves where they are.” God doesn’t differentiate with His love. It is always unconditional, for those who are saved and for those who aren’t, for those who make bad choices and for those who make good choices. Those of us who know Him can love in this very same way, but not in our own strength – for that’s impossible. We must get so full of His love by choosing time with Him in prayer, getting to know His Life and His character revealed in the Bible and by His Spirit. It’s only then that our limited fleshly love is overtaken by God’s love – not only for us, but through us, to others! It’s when we begin to reach out to others in the name of the Lord in this way that we will see permanent kingdom results for the glory of God!