Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Loving the Unlovely

Many years ago a young pastor came to me. He was impressed with the commands of Jesus to Love God, neighbor, wife, brothers, and enemies. He wanted me to tell him how he could love an African in Africa when there were millions of Africans, all of them, to him, faceless and nameless. “How can I love someone I do not know?” People think that they have to know that “someone” before they can love him. That is not true, but what they want to find out is if the “someone” is “lovable” so they can make a decision to love him.

Knowing the person, good or bad, has nothing to do with whether you love that person.

Back to the young pastor, I told him to confess that he did not love Africans in Africa, then choose to have a heart to love all Africans in Africa. Love the whole. When you meet an African, anywhere, anytime you do not have to decide to love him. You already made that decision a long time ago. You instantly love the person in front of you and he knows it. He knows that you are not prejudiced, bigoted, antagonistic or even polite and cordial. He knows that you love him because you do love him.

Do we wait to love our enemy only after we meet him? What about terrorists? What about angry Muslims? We do not dare to wait until we meet them. We must love them before we meet them. That means we love all of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan, etc. Get out a world atlas and start praying for the nations and their rulers. If you wish to be informed get a copy of Operation World by Patrick Johnstone. It is a day to day guide to praying for the world.

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles.” 1 Timothy 2:1-7

How do we express this new found love? Praying is a good beginning. After that God will lead you into loving action.

If you do not or will not pray, you are not participating in the will of God which is clearly expressed in the text.

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