Revive Me, Week 30– A Year of Growing Stronger in the Lord
Love the Unlovable
I spent the past week with 50 teen girls at a Christian Bible camp. During one lesson, they were asked to come up with a specific way they would be willing to shine their light. One young lady wrote, “I will love the unlovable.”
The 50 girls were from different states and had different backgrounds. They didn’t all grow up in sweet Christian homes. They weren’t all at the same level of spiritual maturity. And yet by the middle of the week, there was a unity taking place that was beautiful to behold. They were reaching out to each other. They were (mostly) patient with each other. They were drawing in the shy, the awkward, and the scared. They even managed to soften the one or two with a chip on their shoulder. By the end of the week, as we sang in a big circle holding hands, they were family.
Most of us encounter many people each day. We know we are commanded to love them (Mark 12:31) but not all of them will be easy to love. Some will be prickly or grouchy or mean. Some will look unapproachable. Some will simply reject any attempt to reach out to them. While we won’t be thrown into a camp situation where it will be easier to grow to love others, we must still determine to love the unlovable. The outgoing, warm, friendly, happy people around us are probably receiving love and good attention. It’s the ones who are edgy, odd, or giving off “leave me alone” vibes who most need us to show them the love of Christ.
“Let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”
(1 John 3:18)
“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
(1 John 4:8)
Suggestions for the Week:
- Pay close attention to outsiders. Reach out to them in a specific way.
- Show warmth in your smile and your words to those who are not nice. They need it the most. Remember, “hurt people hurt people.”
- If you are afraid, ask God to give you courage.
- Don’t give up if your first attempts to reach out are rejected or even ridiculed. And definitely don’t react in a hurt or indignant way. That’s what they expect. Instead, smile and try again at first opportunity.
- Pray for those who are unlovable.
- Instead of mentally tagging others with harsh labels, identify them as lost souls or lonely and outcast.
Read it. Memorize it. Live it.