Have you ever been offended by somebody without that person realizing it? Or maybe offended somebody when you didn’t mean to? I’m not sure who can relate, but I’m one of those who need 1,000 resolutions to a problem (I have a problem) and there is a phrase that gets on my nerves when I’m trying to get there: “Can we move on?” When my significant other says this phrase I get offended, and you know what is the crazy thing? She has no idea that this question destroys my life within seconds, ha! Simple phrases can offend people in interesting ways. I feel like many times we do this to God, don’t we? Don’t we sometimes do things that in our mind may seem normal but in God’s heart can be hurtful? Don’t we do this when we don’t show authentic love to others?
Love has been so twisted in today’s day and age. We have TV shows that want us to believe that love is conditional. We have social media that lies to us by making us believe that love can be whatever feeling we have at the moment. We often times hear people say that true love doesn’t exist. In fact, the enemy doesn’t want us to truly experience God’s love nor to love others. Why? Because love is so powerful! Love is the best picture you can get from God and the best way to show God to others. Now, I’m not talking about The Bachelor kinda-love or the Fifty Shades of Grey kinda-love. I’m talking about the 1 Corinthians kinda-love where it says, “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.”
Would you allow me to introduce you to probably the most important command Jesus gave us in his teachings and yet the most overlooked one? Jesus said, “This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you” (John 15:12). Wait a second. What? He wants us to love others the same way he loves us? Yes! And let me tell you, Jesus not only loved those who were part of his crew. He loved those who were marginalized, broken, isolated, sick, demonized, and by showing his love he brought healing, peace, salvation, and fulfillment.
About two months ago, some of the worship team gathered at the house of two of the best people I know, Jon and Carly Voinsky, to allow God to speak through music. This song named “Nothing Can Separate” came out from Romans 8 which says that nothing stands in between us and God’s love. The song has a line that says, “Heaven emptied and placed on that cross.” God bankrupted heaven because of his love for you, and that love is our engine to love others. When we love those who are broken, different, marginalized, or anxious we show them God. Wellsoring's mission statement is, “We exist to ignite a craving for Jesus by relentlessly loving our community.” This is our best way of evangelism! We are not reaching people for Jesus by asking them about their past, who they hang out with, or what their religious background is; we reach people for Jesus by showing his love. His love is the most attractive aspect of our mission.
I get it, this can be hard sometimes, especially with people who probably offend us or maybe are very different than us but here is the thing: we are all loved by God. If those in our community get amazed by our ways to show love, what would they even think of God’s love? Exactly! If we show love to those who are different than us, how would they imagine God’s ultimate love? We love others not because we want to feel good about ourselves. We love others because we want them to know that there is a greater love out there that is available for them, and it’s capable of bringing healing, peace, comfort, provision, and salvation!
When we love others, we show Christ! Let’s get on mission and love others by showing them a glimpse of the greater love that is after them: His love! Let’s show them who God is!
If Jesus was accused of showing love within uncommon relationships, it would be an honor for us to be accused of the same.
Written by Gabriel Ortega,
Gabriel is a volunteer at Wellspring Church