As a followers of Jesus our job is to love people in such a way that that they are introduced to Jesus.
For the most part, I believe, we all agree with the above statement, but that’s not necessarily how we behave.
You see, we very often try to change people and then love them.
Because it’s much easier to love those who are just like us. And that’s the problem, because Jesus doesn’t let us off the hook. He calls us to love others in such a way that it points people to Him.
So how do we do this? How do we love people in such a way they are introduced to Jesus, the One Who transforms lives?
Here are 3 ways:
I can remember when Ethan, our son, was learning to tie his shoes.
When he first began trying to learn, it would take him a long time to tie them. Me, being, impatient would get frustrated and would want to tie them for him, but if I had done that, he never would have learned.
When we love people to Jesus they often have messy lives.
And because we are impatient or we just don’t want to deal with whatever it is they are going through, we try to hurry them along through the process of growth and transformation instead of simply loving them and trusting God to do what He does.
If God created everything, He can be trusted to transform lives.
Remember where we came from.
I think that most of remember where we were and what we were doing when Jesus came into our lives and changed us forever.
I know I do.
I remember sitting in the back of a sanctuary watching a worship team practice when I heard His voice calling me. I remember running, literally running, to the altar to cry and to pray. And I remember the peace and the call He gave me that day.
And I’m sure you remember when He did something similar for you as well.
But what we tend to forget is how long it took us to get there. We tend to forget that, though our lives may have changed in an moment, it took years to get to that moment.
In fact, it took me 25 years to get to that instant. 25 years of anger, bitterness, self-loathing, and of trying to figure things out before I finally surrendered to Him.
Remembering where we came from enables us to love people through the process of transformation.
Stay near Jesus.
Let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to like some people, let alone love them.
And that’s why we need to stay near the heart of Jesus.
It’s impossible to love people if we don’t stay near Jesus.
If we stay near Jesus, if we continually press into the heart of Jesus, we’ll be filled with the love of Jesus.
If we’re not filled with the love of Jesus, we’ll be full of ourselves. And if we’re full of ourselves, well, that creates a recipe for out of control legalism that desires to change people instead of loving people.
Let’s love people to Jesus.
Let’s love people fiercely. Let’s love people with reckless abandon. Let’s love people in a way that honors Jesus. Let’s love people to Jesus.
Because our job is to love people, not change people.