Today, I learned something new. That applies to just about every day that I’ve been alive, since there is so much out there yet to learn (or in my case, to learn and to forget and to re-learn).
Matthew Page preached today instead of Aaron Bryant at The Church at Avenue South and that’s where I picked up this new knowledge. Although, I’d like it not to be just something else that I know intellectually, but something that profoundly affects how I live toward others from here on out.
Mr. Page said that not all of us will be accomplished preachers or evangelists. Not all of us will draw crowds Billy Graham-style or present a compelling defense of the faith a la C. S. Lewis or Josh McDowell.
But all of us can learn to love well. All of us can show the same love for those around us that Jesus showed us. In fact, that’s the most compelling argument for the faith.
People can argue all day long over the finer points of theology and politics, but no one can ever argue over the evidence of a changed life. No one can ever refute a testimony that’s not only spoken out loud but lived out loud as well.
Most of all, people can never deny those who love the unlovable, who go against human nature to forgive and release instead of harboring resentment and seeking revenge.
Those who were drawn into the early Church pointed to that kind of love as the reason. “See how they love one another,” they said of the early believers. They might have added, “See how they love those around them,” to the Christians who risked their own lives to care for lepers, who left the familiarity and comforts of home to take this new gospel around the world.
That’s my prayer both for me and for you: to love others as well as Jesus has loved us. I know it’s not possible unless it’s Jesus doing the loving both in us and through us. Even then, we will still get in the way most of the time. But I’m convinced that if the world saw a fraction of that agape love lived out and not just talked about, it would make a big difference.