Loving the least lovable:
Christians must be the example
by Rev. Jack Hulsey
I like the idea of having accountability partners, someone who's painfully honest with us about our shortcomings. Being told you're doing wrong isn't easy to hear, but it is much easier to have someone who knows and loves you to tell you these things rather than having to find them out the hard way. In a profile of pastor and author Stu Weber, Dave Goetz wrote that, “Weber developed a temper which exploded into its full glory in high school and college.” Upon entering the military he found that his temper only got worse and hindered the development of his relational skills.
It got bad enough that early in his ministry he stopped playing church league basketball entirely, because that famous temper kept flaring up embarrassing both him and his church.
But then 10 years of relative quiet went by. "I hadn't had a flash temper for years," Weber said. "I thought, the Lord had been good. I'm actually growing."
Then his oldest son made the high school varsity basketball squad. "I began living my life through my son." Weber terrorized the referees. On one occasion, seated in the second row, he wound up on the floor level with no recollection of how he got there. As a result, he got some very nasty letters from church members which (he says now) "were absolutely right on."
But then he got another note: "Stu, I know your heart. I know that's not you. I know that you want to live for Christ and His reputation. And I know that's not happened at these ballgames. If it would be helpful to you I'd like to come to the games with you and sit beside you."
The letter was from one of his accountability partner's. "He saved my life," Weber says. "It was an invitation, a gracious extension of truth. He assumed the best and believed in me."
How do we love someone who stumbles? Do we believe in and hope the best for them even when they fail?
Anyone can love lovable people. But as Christians we are called to love the least loveable, because if we don't, we're no different from the pagan world.
God loved us all when we least deserved it. If we are able to mirror him, and be the witness he's called us to be, then it is up to us to show his love to the world out there that today needs it more than ever.