original image taken from thousandbytendays.com
I want to ask a question, it's a question I think many people wrestle with whether directly or indirectly. When is it okay to not love someone?
We live in a culture where so many lines are drawn and so much pressure exists to choose a side. Whether it's race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or whatever else we can disagree about, we sure can disagree! It seems easy just to choose your side and stand with those in agreement. Doesn't that beg the question, if our relationships are based on agreement what happens when we find an area in which we disagree?
We are called to love, it's part of our walk as Christians. But let's be honest, people make it difficult! These are things I've wrestled with as a pastor and also in my personal life. I've seen God redeem personal relationships that were broken in the past but I've also drawn boundaries with family members not giving them access to my life. I've ministered to drug addicts, who loved people who were clearly bad influences in their lives, that were very destructive, but at the same time were troubled themselves.
It seems to me that this is something we will all wrestle with at some level at some point in our lives. I feel like this is such a crucial issue, it affects how we approach just about every relationship we will have. How can we reach the lost and broken of the world if we find excuses not to love them? If we write people off before they're given a chance aren't we withholding something from them that was freely given to us?
What if that's the wrong question to ask? What if the real question is how can we love those people we've determined to be unlovable? How can We love people that we disagree with? How can we love the messy people around us while they're still messy? Jesus found a way, my prayer is we can too! If we only loves those who love us, what's our love really worth?
Anthony and his wife serve as pastors feeling called to focus on their local community and work in the drug and alcohol recovery and the inner city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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