What if our fight for truth and justice were motivated by love rather than being right? What if we learned to rejoice in righteousness, but not boast in the face of those blinded to the truth? What if we were to defend and seek justice for the vulnerable but without condemning everyone else in the process? What if we were to learn how to call sin sin, but still love the sinner as a soul made in the image of God? What if we were to use truth as a bridge and a balm rather than a weapon?
What if we saw sin and Satan as the enemy, rather than the sinner who’s in bondage to them? What if we entered into each other’s mess rather than put up boundaries that protect our comforts? What if God’s people were marked by humility, teachability, and compassion, rather than self-righteousness, loudness, and division? What if we saw each other as complex and intricate beings, rather than boxing one another into categories, stances, and labels? What if we were quicker to listen than we were to have an opinion? What if we were to defend the refugee just as much as we defend ourselves?
Then we just might be a people who shine the light of the gospel in a dark world. We might begin building bridges instead walls. We might be salt that seasons rather than salt in the wounds of others. We might have ears to hear and eyes to see the suffering and needs of those around us. We might be a people marked by love rather than anger. And maybe, just maybe, we would be a Church who draws the lost and hurting to the heart of her Savior, rather than hypocrites that leave a stench on the name of Christ.
Christian, let’s be rich in love, grace, and compassion toward others just as Christ has been rich in love, grace, and compassion toward us. Because even if we are right, we are nothing if it is not marked by love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
For “love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”1 Corinthians 13:4-7
May it be so through the power and work of the Spirit within us.