“When you love the unloving, you get a glimpse of what God does for you.” ~ Max Lucado (Grace Happens Here, Page 146)
We all have that one person. Maybe she is always trying to one up you. Maybe he just talks about himself constantly. Maybe she has no idea what personal space means. Maybe he rabbit trails every time he speaks. Maybe she tells information to people that you told her in confidence. Maybe sometimes he’s your spouse. Maybe sometimes she’s your best friend. It’s that one person that is sometimes difficult to truly love.
And sometimes that one person is a person you live with, work with, or see every day. We say we “love” them because it’s the Christian thing to say; but in reality, we are just tolerating their presence. We mistake being civil to that one person at church or in the grocery store as Christian love. We seem to think that as long as we are not outwardly mean, we can think whatever we want and even say whatever we want when they aren’t around.
That’s not how Jesus worked. He cared for the least of these. The ones that were physically “gross” to the Jewish people, he actively pursued…the lepers…the lame…the tax collectors. These people were culturally unlovely. These people were that one person. Jesus didn’t just tolerate them; He engaged them. He prayed over them. He brought healing. He loved them.
And he loves us. We were also that one person. Our little lies arrested him in the garden. Our bad attitudes beat Him mercilessly. Our selfishness shoved the crown of thorns on His head. Our pride nailed Him to that cross. We have to remember that we sent the perfect Lovely One to be punished for our sin. Yet, He willingly paid for our un-loveliness. He engaged us. He prayed over us. He brings healing to us. He loves us. What a sobering reminder for us!
May we remember this when we are tempted to write off that one person! May we engage them like Christ engaged the unlovely in His culture! May we never forget that we were that one person that He loved perfectly, enough to die! What a wondrous love it is!!