ALL things that tick me off as well! Great answers- honest answers!
Now let me be honest with you. Something that has been upsetting me more and more lately is when people judge others because of stereotypes, customs or prejudices. Sometimes I see people dismiss certain people as lost causes because of a different belief. Jesus has been refining me. He has been softening my heart to people. People I used to see differently. This morning he used Chase to get me out of bed so he could talk to me and explain something. He told me to read the story of the “Woman at the Well”. Umm where exactly is that? John 4:1-40. I read it in a couple of different translations because I like to hear it in different ways. Then I googled it to get some commentary to try to explain it a little.
You see by reaching out to the woman at the well Jesus showed that his mission was to the entire earth, not just the Jews. That is the same today. Jesus died for every person, not just Christians. As Christians we should reach out to non-believers, not just people who have not heard of the good news, but those who do not believe.
Jesus treats people as individuals, accepting them with love and compassion. We should do the same. Does that mean we have to believe what they believe? NO.
You see the “woman at the well” is a Samaritan, and Samaritans have their own distinct religion—a corruption of the Jewish faith. The story of the woman of Samaria teaches us that each person matters to Jesus. The story also teaches us that Jesus offers to forgive everyone. He offers new life to all, even if they have been very wicked. Jesus also came for people from every nation. His kingdom is for everybody, from every country and every culture.
This means we have to love others where they are at in order to build a relationship with them and one day be able to share Jesus with them. There is a built-in offense to the essential message of the gospel, but we don’t have to make it worse by being insensitive to people. You probably have seen a Christian walk up to an unbeliever and start the conversation with something like this: “Hey, heathen. Did you know you are going to hell?” That is not the way to build a bridge. Evangelism is a dialogue, not a monologue. And the best way to engage a person in a conversation is to listen. In starting a conversation, the objective is to build a bridge. There is a place for point and counterpoint. Sure, we need to defend our beliefs. But no one has ever been argued into the kingdom of God. I have seen Christians win the argument and lose the soul.
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone. —Colossians 4:5–6
What is love? I asked my friends this question as well. Responses included:
Unselfishness towards another person. Putting another person’s needs before your own. Prioritization. Unconditional. ”Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand it’s own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance…love will last forever!” 1 cor. 13: 4-8 True love is only possible from and through God. Being unselfish, patience, understanding, and the feeling you get when you look in someone’s eyes (adult or child) and have your breath taken away when you realize you would do anything for or give up anything for that person. The ability to die to self on behalf of another!
All true, honest and wonderful answers.
What are you doing to love others around you? Are you building bridges?
This post is linked up to: Women Living Well