Thursday, March 14, 2013

Loving in Spite of…by Martin Wiles

Series: Living a Life of Excellence

She had a sordid past, but he offered an irresistible future.

He was traveling through her hometown but not because it was geographically necessary. Most of his peers avoided the region. She and her kind were half-breeds…an impure blood line. 

Jesus wasn’t bothered by such nonsense, so he ambled right down the middle of her town until hunger, thirst and achy feet forced him to stop at a local well. That’s when she happened along…at noon when unseemly women came for water to avoid the catcalls of other females who thought they were better.

He asked for a drink. She wondered why. Of course, he didn’t know her past…or so she thought. But being in her region, talking to her in public, and drinking after her? These were barriers others wouldn’t think of crossing.

Then he offered her living water. Perpetual thirst quenching water. She craved it, but when instructed to get her husband so he could enjoy it too the truth peeled off her lips before she realized it. She had no husband…but she did have five failed marriages and a live in.

Jesus wasn’t offended by her baggage. He offered her love, forgiveness, and a second chance. And brotherly affection with love for everyone (II Peter 1:7 NLT).

A life of spiritual excellence entails loving everyone…an impossible feat apart from experiencing God’s love. He loves everybody…regardless, and as his agent I’m responsible for the same. Confronting different personalities-along with tackling racial and cultural variances, makes loving all people challenging. Battles with stereotyping and prejudice will occasionally have to be waged, but when asked God gives victory and allows me to view all people as worthy of love. After all, if Jesus could die for everyone, I can live with and for them. Who are you avoiding that you need to love instead?

Prayer: Father of love and mercy, instill Your love in us that we might love others the same way You love us.