Last time I lurked here (March last year), I wrote the following, but never posted it. It is titled “Loving yourself & Loving the world”:
I was reading an entry that I had written in my journal soon after a friend of mine passed away from suicide. The first line was “If I had one more chance to see you”. I then started flipping back to when I first learned of her death, coming across some notes I had written from a sermon I had heard at the time. One of the quotes that I had noted was “There is no one more deserving of your love than yourself.” It got me wondering that if people loved themselves, and I mean truly loved themselves, would they commit suicide? As I have never contemplated taking my own life, I do not know what emotions those who have go through. But that does not stop me wondering.
One thing I do know, God has called us to love the unlovable, those whom others can not, or will not love, to love those who can not love themselves. How many lives will we save, both eternally and here on this earth if we truly take up the cause of Christ?
Often we can not see the trees for the forest, or in this case, the people for the poverty, overcome by the enormity of the issue. “Love the one.” Heidi Baker once said, and it’s the truth. We will not be able to solve all the world’s problems in one day.
Look at the example that Jesus set. The one person that could solve all of the world’s problems (I am not referring to man’s separation from God and his sinful state here) without raising a sweat, did not. Rather, he loved the individual. Jesus did not look at all the sick and hungry and throw his hands in the air, saying it’s impossible to fix all those people, no, he touched one person, at a time.
Now I am not saying that there is anything impossible with God (there is nothing impossible with him!), but Jesus could have done that, just as he could have healed every single person on the planet, as well as fixed world hunger and banished poverty from the face of the earth.
“Now how do I love the one?” I hear you ask. “Do I have to go out to the streets and help the homeless? Go to Africa?” Yes and no. So how do we love the one? Well, it is important to remember that the world is hurting, and it’s not just the homeless, the sick or the poor. My friend was none of these, but she needed someone to love her. I am not saying her family did not love her, they did and still do, immensely. I am talking about a love that takes people aside and asks them how they really are – no strings attached. People need us to just sit and listen to them, no preaching, just listening. They need to know that they can trust us not to share with other people what they have told us. They don’t need condemnation or judgement.
Now I’m preaching at myself here, as well as speaking from personal experience. It’s something that God is teaching me how to do, love people. And I’m not talking mushy stuff here. I’m talking about hard core, uncomfortable, willing to put-myself-out kind of love. The kind of love that is willing to drop everything and talk to someone on the side of the road in the cold. The kind that gives away the shoes on your feet, stops and helps that person with the flat tire or breakdown, the kind that speaks life, not death into a situation, the kind that gets on your knees at three in the morning because God woke you up with a burden for someone.
True love, the way God designed it, is something that the world craves and can only imitate. When one speaks of love, the world thinks of sparks and fireworks, not sacrifice. Yes, that is true love – being willing to lay yourself down for others, not necessarily your friends, but those you do not know. This is love.
I pray you will have a great weekend.