My parents cautioned me about it over and over again—especially my dad.
When I became a middle schooler, my parents began to warn me about whom I hung around with. “Bad company corrupts good moral,” they would say. While both my parents were Christians, my dad was a fundamentalist (I know because he proudly proclaimed himself as one.). So my young life was filled with rules and regulations—warning me of particular behaviors considered off-limits and against associating with those who would tempt me to consider those behaviors. And there were even a few years when they sent me to private schools hoping I would meet a better quality of peers.
But Jesus…he hung around with the very types of people my parents warned me against. Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach (Luke 15:1 NLT).
Most of Jesus’ time was spent hanging around with those others didn’t want anything to do with…those with dreaded diseases…those with immoral lifestyles…those who lived on the wrong side of the tracks. Jesus knew well people didn’t need a doctor…sick people did. People sick with the effects of sin. No one was too bad for Jesus to love. Nor should they be for me. He loved me when I was undeserving, and I must love others.
Through my experiences with others and because of my human nature, it’s easy to develop prejudicial attitudes and stereotypes. Jesus’ nature of pure love prevented these from developing in his life, and with his love flowing through me I too can put them aside.
While no one is too bad for me to love, I must be careful that I’m always the influencer rather than the influenced. Jesus always influenced…but he was never influenced. Is there anyone or group that you’ve labeled, “Too bad to love?”
Prayer: Father, may we always love others with the same love that we’re loved.
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