When I think about the unlovely I think about Paul the apostle. To Christians of his day he would have been the most unlovely around. Imagine becoming friends with someone who killed anyone who had your faith. I can’t imagine thinking this would be a good idea.
Paul’s conversion shows us that the Lord can save anyone. It shows us that even the ugliest sins can be forgiven. As I look around at my world I see people with all kinds of problems that they are trying to deal with on their own. I see struggles with health, relationships and finances that cause fear, anger and confusion. And I think to myself: “What is the answer?”
John 8:31-32 (NIV)
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The answer is the love of God and trusting in Him that he will guide us into all truth. Unwarranted fear usually comes from believing lies that seem to be true. Or it comes from fabricating situations that only exist in our minds. The truth that sets us free is knowing that Jesus, the Son of God came to this earth as a baby, lived a pure life of healing and teaching, suffered on the cross, died and was buried and on the third day showed proof of everlasting life by rising from the dead victoriously.
If we don’t share that truth with the unlovely and show them the unconditional love of the Father, how will they ever be saved from eternal damnation? If we who know the truth don’t step out of our comfort zone and share with those around us the love of God where will they see it?
To love the unlovely we must share the love of God with more than just words. We must time to listen to people and help them physically and emotionally. We must let them become a part of our lives so that our lives influence them without letting their ungodly behavior change us. Loving them is accepting them for who they are while they are on their way to becoming who God wants them to be.
Are you willing to be someone who loves the unlovely? I believe as Christians that is what our lives are all about. Take some time this week and show kindness to those who seem unlovely to you. Watch God begin to change them over time. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.