My mind has been racing in the best possible way all week. I can’t stop thinking about how revolutionary the simple message of “Love” actually can be. I had the privilege to sit under Bob Goff’s teaching this past weekend at my church, and I can confidently say that all the hype surrounding him is true. This guy is the real deal. And you know what? His message isn’t all polished and perfect. He is more than a bit quirky.
But he reminded me so much of Jesus.
And friends, isn’t that what it’s all about?
There were countless quote worthy things that he said throughout his message, but this one stuck with me the most by far:
“Love everyone. Always.”
Why don’t we all just sit under that conviction for a minute. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we would admit that we simply don’t do that. We find every reason under the sun to decide who is worthy of our love. We withhold from those we deem not deserving, and we give to those whom we choose.
And it’s NOT right.
We don’t get to set the bar. We don’t get to determine the qualifiers. God does. And the only one He set in place is Jesus Christ.
So, what does that mean?
Love the person who disagrees with you politically.
Love the person who disagrees with you theologically.
Love the person who disagrees with you socially.
Love the person who is hardest to love.
Therein, my friends, lies the heart of Jesus.
This past week, I’ve spent sun-up to sun-down with my dad. For those of you who don’t know my story, in short, much of the brokenness in my life was wrapped up in my absent father. I lived life bitter, angry, and unforgiving for years, and I justified it all based on who he had been (and hadn’t been) to me. A few years ago, God began to mend our broken relationship and create something new. He began to redeem, rebuild, and restore the broken places of my heart.
This past week hasn’t been without its challenges because I’m still human and this relationship can still be messy. BUT GOD. Before my dad arrived last Friday morning, I had spent weeks praying for God to do something different this trip. I wanted to have meaningful conversations with my dad. I wanted to love him better than I ever have. I wanted this trip to bless him.
As we were driving around today, we got into a conversation about loving others well. And then these words flowed out of his mouth:
“Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
Friends, there is something profound there. I’m not asking you to stop speaking the truth, because the Lord knows I’m sure not about to do that. What I am saying is this: Speak it in love. And if your words and the motivation behind them can’t be said in love, then withhold them because they aren’t helpful.
We might see a different world if we, THE CHURCH, started doing better in this regard.
Love Everyone. Always.