We are called to lead others to life in Christ, but it’s a calling that’s definitely more challenging than it sounds. We live in a world full of lost and hurting people, people we are called to reach. It’s the boy in your class with anger in his eyes. It’s the girl next door who seems to be fading away. It’s your friend who is always smiling, but you have no idea what’s underneath. You are called to stand out and shine the light of Jesus to these people, but sometimes you feel a little lost. Like they’re just too far away from you. You’re afraid to make the wrong move, afraid to do or say the wrong thing. Or maybe you just don’t know where to start.
Let me tell you this: the most effective way to reach people is to love them the way Christ loves them. Love them sacrificially. Love them even when they mess up. Love them when they don’t deserve it. Why? Because that’s exactly what Christ did for you, and he did it for them too. He loves them! He loves them so much that he died for them. They don’t deserve it, but he has covered their sin. He took the punishment they deserved. He is offering them the free gift of eternal life with a God who loves and loves and loves. This is a LIFE CHANGING kind of love. This love is radical. Unfathomable. Powerful. Everlasting. By loving people the way Christ loves them, you will be different. You will stand out. When you love like that, people wonder why. That’s how you point someone to Christ.
So, what are ways you can love people the way Christ loves them? Let’s take a look at Scripture.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
I recently read something about replacing “love” with your own name and reading it that way. I’ll use my name as an example, so for me it would be this:
“Misty is patient and kind; Misty does not envy or boast; Misty is not arrogant or rude. Misty does not insist on her own way; Misty is not irritable or resentful; Misty does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Misty bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
If I want to reflect Christ, if I want to love with that kind of love, I need to remember this and set it as a goal in my life. Replace “love” with your own name and read it to yourself. Ask yourself: What doesn’t match up here? What are areas I can work on in my life to love the way Christ loves?
Look for opportunities to love people. Forgive. Ask them how they’re doing, and really mean it. Listen to them. Pray for people. Ask them if there is anything in particular you can pray for them about. Yeah, sometimes it can be awkward, but you gotta step out of that comfort zone! Aim to be remembered for the way you love. Lastly, PRAY for that kind of love. Pray for God to fill you with his kind of love. Pray for him to push you and challenge you to love people like he loves them, to help you see them as he sees them. Souls are on the line here. You have a mission! Love them like he loves them. That is how you truly stand out.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Girls, you are loved so much more than you can imagine! I hope you all have a wonderful day, and that this has touched you and encouraged you in some way. God bless! ❤