I just don’t want to do the deal for the sake of doing the deal. I mean, I don’t want to get together every week and talk about stuff and then go home and wait for the next time just to say we do it. If there is no fruit of difference in our lives and in the community around us, let’s find something else to do. With that in mind, we have been intentional about trying to reach out and serve the community. The result has been exciting and affirming, but the result can’t become the focus.
If we go into all the world to carry the Kingdom but do so with a meter based in a need for others to agree with us, then we are not loving others. If we need something in return to validate the effort, that isn’t love, its manipulation. If we give a hungry person something to eat in Jesus’ name and do so with a need for them to believe in Jesus the same way we do, then there is no love for that person.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its 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.”
That’s not just for weddings.
- Love is patient. With people. No matter their faults.
- Love is not proud or rude. It is prideful and rude to insist that others agree with our beliefs in order for us to maintain relationship or continue to serve them.
- Love does not demand its own way. If the other person is an atheist and decides to remain an atheist, that is not a ticket to take exception with them. That’s not a ticket to cut them off. Love doesn’t demand agreement.
- Love keeps no record. This isn’t a race to count salvations or advertise conversions for fund-raising purposes.
- Love never gives up. Keep loving. Keep serving.
We serve because it’s where Jesus said He is hanging out . . . in the interaction of life on life when we get a chance to encounter people in need. Jesus said He is in that person; the least of these. We need the Jesus in them just like they need the Jesus in us.