Do we really love people who are different from us?

As many of you are, I’m struggling today …

There are two incidents that took place this weekend.

A young Christian musical artist, Christina Grimmie, was shot point blank while meeting with fans in Orlando. Some news reports say that the evidence authorities are compiling from the shooter’s computer and his online activity points to a hatred for Christianity and may reveal a sinister plot to end Christina’s life because of her outspoken faith.

In the other, over 50 were killed and 50+ more injured when a man walked into a night club in Orlando. Evidence points to an ISIS link and the fact that it was a gay night club.

If we strip away the details, we find mourning families. Somewhere right now there is a mom draped across her bed, weeping for her daughter or son. Somewhere right now, there are adverse reactions rising that may or may not make the situation any less painful for those who just want to hold their loved one more time.

It appears that foundation of each of these horrific events is the inability to love someone different from ourselves.

That forces me, as someone who follows Christ, to look to Him for answers.

What Jesus says about love
forces me to ask hard questions …

The answers aren’t always what I hope they might be, but they open the door to honest evaluation and tangible change.

These questions aren’t just powerful for believers, but for all of us.

• Do I only surround myself with people who think like me, act like me, or believe like me?

• Do I say I love people who are different from me, but never invite them around the kitchen table?

• Do I love first and judge second?

• Before pointing out another’s sin, is it with the realization that I have sinned and been forgiven?

• Is there a person or group of people different from me (because of race, socioeconomics, ethnicity, culture, religion, politics, or any other difference) that I know little about but still have strong opinions about?

Charles Lee says this: Jesus did not place a standard on the kinds of people he would love and care for. In fact, if he did have bias, it was towards those who were ignored, discarded, or undervalued.

Maybe you fear loving people who are different from you (regardless of what that difference might be) because it might mean that you agree with or condone sin. It’s the exact opposite. We believe in the power of God’s love. That’s what led Jesus to cross the street. He was doing the business of the Father.

Walking with the disciples in this messy business called “love your enemies” helps me to answer the question I shared earlier, the one my pastor asked that haunted me for weeks.

What if I made it to the end of my life having loved only those who loved me back?

It’s a question I’m asking myself all over again today.

 

 

 

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About the author : Suzanne Eller

Suzanne Eller

I'm a mom, a wife, a "Gaga" to four babies with one more on the way! I'm also a Proverbs 31 Ministries author and speaker, and a radio co-host of Encouragement Café. Most of all I'm just a girl in love with her Savior.

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