Need to start at the beginning? Here's Week 1
What if I told you this was actually an intervention and all the people you know have been calling and asking me to break some news to you: that you can no longer continue to be the person you’ve been? What are you going to let go of? Who is it you don’t get? Who don’t you understand? Who have you been playing it safe with, while politely keeping your distance?
Maybe it's the Native family in town. Maybe it's the biker gang that eats at your favorite diner. Maybe it's the grouchy old man who yells at people to get off his lawn.
Whoever it is: don’t tell them all your opinions; give them all your love.
I know it’s hard for you. It’s hard for me, too. But I’m learning I have to follow Jesus’ example and follow His lead if I’m going to follow in His steps. Even when we feel like we can’t muster the strength and humility to love our enemies, the truth is we can.
If you do this, I can promise two things will happen. First, it will be messy. Sometimes ugly messy. You’ll also be misunderstood—you might not even understand yourself anymore. The second thing is just as true: you’ll grow. And people who are growing fall forward and bump into Jesus all over again.
Obeying Jesus when it comes to loving difficult or intimidating people is hard. I’m still working on it. I’m sure it will take the rest of my life. The heavy lifting is worth it, though. Difficulties and setbacks will give us the chance to go back or lean forward. I’m convinced heaven is watching us, knowing full well all that will be left standing, in the end, is our love. I bet our spouses, kids, and friends are watching too.
If you want to become love, stop just agreeing with Jesus. Go call someone right now. Lift them up in ways they can’t lift themselves. Send them a text message and say you’re sorry. I know they don’t deserve it. You didn’t either. Don’t put a toe in the water with your love; grab your knees and do a cannonball. Move from the bleachers to the field, and you won’t ever be the same.
Don’t just love the people who are easy to love; go love the difficult ones.
If you do this, Jesus said two things would happen. First, He said you’d move forward in your journey toward being more like Him, and second, as you love everybody, always, you’ll turn into love along the way.
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This devotion is based on Bob Goff's book, Everybody, Always, with some variations as they related to Lutheran Indian Ministries. Buy the book here.