To Love or Not to Love

This week we are discussing the Gospel being spread to the Gentiles.

Forgive me for bringing back any bad memories of high school English class; but the old Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet, is one depressing story. This tale of young romantic love did not end well for the children of the feuding families, the Capulets and the Montagues. Here in Kentucky we have a connection to another legendary family feud, between the Hatfields and the McCoys. We can dismiss such stories, or history, as relics from long ago. We could never take part in a feud like those today, could we?

Caution - I’m feeling led to step on some toes here; mine aren’t exempt. I could read the following to myself in a mirror.

Have you ever actively despised an athlete on a rival sports team? I don’t mean “good-naturedly rooted against.” You know what I mean.

Have you responded in anger to a driver who pulls a maneuver that you yourself pull weekly?

Have you said unkind things about a referee who didn’t see something from floor level, through a sea of bodies, that you can clearly see in a high definition, slow-motion replay from a different angle?

Have you developed a loathing toward a friend or family member who has an earnest, sincerely held, difference of opinion about the complicated public health response to a global pandemic? Do you feel this way about some people who haven’t taken the pandemic seriously enough – and perhaps also about others who over-reacted to it? So, you and I are the only ones who were right the whole time?

Do you find your levels of love and patience rising or falling as you learn others’ political preferences? 

Do you treat a co-worker who gets paid more than you as if they are the one who decided you deserve less?

Anger and frustration are human emotions from which we cannot escape. But we can still choose to love.

Again, a second time, a voice said to him, “What God has made clean, you must not call common.” Acts 10:15 (HCSB)

We must not hate those God loves. Jesus died for you, yes, but He also died for everybody else. Who are we to act like He made a mistake?

He commanded us to preach to the people and to solemnly testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins. Acts 10:42-43 (HCSB)

By Mark Stuart

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