Keep on Loving

The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. ‘Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?’ ‘No one, Master.’ ‘Neither do I,’ said Jesus. ‘Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.’  John 8:9b-11 (MSG)

Probably the hardest thing about obeying Jesus’ commandment to love others is the fact that some people are so unlovable. It is okay to admit this because we can all be unlovable at times for one reason or another. In Bible Study last night, Minister Abbie challenged and encouraged us to continue to love others even through their shortcomings and even sin.

When others have done wrong is the perfect time to keep on loving them. It’s at those times when they need our love the most. Loving people does not mean that we simply overlook and disregard sin, sinfulness, and short comings in their lives. It means that we lead with compassion, even while upholding our convictions. Minister Abbie suggested four ways for us to do this:

  • Let Holy Spirit lead our Correction – Don’t go it alone! Let Holy Spirit direct you about how, when, and where to correct and hold someone accountable. Otherwise, you may do more harm than good.
  • Listen Attentively – Remember that what you see and know is only part of the story. Learn to lean in and listen to the stories of others. It just may be that God will lead you to counsel or console, first, and correct later.
  • Use Language that is Gentle – If you are led to correct another do it from a spirit of meekness with a gentle and respectful spirit. We will all be on the receiving end of some tough and corrective love at some point. Treat others as you want them to treat you! (See Galatians 6:1)
  • Let Go of Condemnation – There is no reason to condemn someone even when they are wrong and caught up in sin. If they are in Christ, there is grace for them. If they are not in Christ, there is an open invitation for them to come and receive forgiveness, love, and grace.

The next time God allows you to see the shortcomings of another, put yourself in their shoes. Better yet, put yourself in Christ’s shoes, and show them the love, compassion, heart, and hand of God.

Loving and praying for you,
Pastor Danielle

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