I remember talking with the refugees during my mission trip to Athens. To hear the stories of each of their lives was a real eye-opener. Most had to simply flee, and leave everything behind. The journey to “freedom” was treacherous and non-stop. There was no time to “stop and smell the roses” or sit on a park bench; it was not a vacation. Every one of them was pursuing a goal.
There is a parallel here to the Christian life. We are on a journey…a mission really. To proclaim to a lost and dying world the excellencies of Him who saved us (1 Peter 2:9). We do this primarily by loving our neighbor as ourself (Mt 22:39) and taking the good news of Christ to them (Mt 28:19-20). But, if we are honest, we probably would admit that we constantly lose focus of our goal. Why? That is a question I have asked myself often. Why am I so easily distracted? Why do I find myself relaxing on the Christian park bench once again?
I think a key component in answering these kinds of questions is to understand that we will always lose sight of our mission when our love sits IDLE. Idleness is a focus-killer. It allows you to sit and contemplate and analyze all things trivial. Things that don’t matter or have lesser importance become stealers of our time and effort and energy. If any of those refugees were to sit and stare at the leaves, or admire the river waters, or examine the birds above, they could have destroyed their getaway. They had to keep pressing, keep moving, keep pursuing. The main goal had to be constantly chased after.
The greatest example of a love that never sat idle is the love of Christ. It sought and saved the lost (Luke 19:10) and pressed on till the end of the mission (Jn 13:1). Even today, his love never rests…it is never idle. It envelops us moment by moment. And we, in turn, should extend that same love to others. So, when we sit down to take a break from loving others, we lose sight of our mission and purpose. And we become engulfed in the trivial things of life. Pressing, moving, and pursuing people to love will extinguish all that. It will keep our lives purposeful and Christ-exalting. It will insure a life of witness and obedience. It will keep us dependent upon His strength and grace.
We don’t love others because they deserve it; we love others because Christ first loved us. How are you doing at pursuing love (1 Cor. 14:1) today?
Love in the Truth.