My greatest prayer is that God would teach me to love people more; that He would make me perfect in love. I so desire to have His heart.
There are moments when I realize that my love is not perfect, when my comfort zone is stretched or I am surrounded by a genre of people that I am not normally with. My tendency is to shift my focus from the people to my feelings about the situation. “Is it ok for me to be here? Around THESE people who are doing THESE things?”
However, the more I read the Bible and understand the character of Jesus, I realize that this is ugly and needs to be broken in me. Jesus constantly put Himself in questionable circumstances, surrounded by “questionable” people. He was not worried about getting “dirty” by being with people doing dirty things. He knew who He was and He deeply loved these people. In fact, He defended them to the church leaders when they questioned His actions.
God has been opening my eyes to His heart as I meet with people every day. It doesn’t matter who that person is or what they have done; I have been able to sense a growing wonder in each one I spend time with. I am learning that God deeply delights in each one of us, in our uniqueness; in our beauty and personality. He enjoys spending time with us and He loves to love us.
If God feels that way about each person, how should I feel about them? How should that change the way I interact with them? How much should that call me to step out of my comfort zone and GO to them where they are, just like Jesus stepped out of heaven to come and DIE for us? The call is the same for me and for you: to give all, to literally DIE to ourselves for the sake of love. The point is: if we truly understood how very much God loves the people that surround us every day, it would drastically change the manner in which we interact with them.
It doesn’t matter what may be going on in society or in the immediate situation surrounding me; I am called to reflect God’s heart. I pray as David prayed in Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” I pray that I would in no way, in word, thought, or deed, online or in person, be a stumbling block to someone knowing Jesus as He really is and His powerful love in all its transforming beauty. I want my life to be another avenue that God uses to draw the hearts of His people whom He loves so much to Himself.
And I pray that as I have lunch with people, visit their restaurants, walk by their schools, and step into their places of business that I would genuinely delight in people as God delights in them. May people find in me something real. May they find Jesus in me.