Jesus taught us to love others extravagantly, like He did. After a recent retreat and funeral, I’ve come to realize I don’t love others as fully as Christ taught us.
In today’s podcast, I share two recent stories from my life about a recent High School church camp retreat and seminar that I helped lead, and a funeral of a pastor I knew that has caused me to re-examine my own life, and my capacity to love others as Jesus loved others.
On a scale of 1 to 10, after some significant soul searching, I’d rank my ability to love others as Christ taught to be somewhere around a 6. I feel such is embarrassingly low as someone who has been to Bible college and seminary and has been involved in the life and ministry of the church for many years now.
I thought I was doing better than that. After all, I don’t actively hate anyone. I don’t have a bitter or unforgiving spirit. I try to look out “for the least of these,” and try to actively love those I perceive to be my enemies.
But a recent funeral changed my opinion on how well I’m doing. At this funeral of a former youth pastor I knew from a church I attended for a couple years, I heard all these amazing stories that people gave regarding this pastor about what an amazing contagious love and joy this man had for others.
And these stories weren’t just the “everyone say something nice about the dead” type of stories you hear at funerals. These stories were too specific, and were volunteered easily by many. And I knew these stories to be true, because from my own interactions with this pastor, I knew him already to be an exceedingly loving and joyous man. He simply radiated the love and joy of Christ towards others.
So I thought, what if I were to die today, and people attended my funeral. Could they say the same things about me? I imagined what that would look like. I just imagined what people would say about me. They might use adjectives like funny, bold, smart, ambitious, serious, etc..
But would they say I was full of love for my fellow man?
I concluded they would not. My wife might say I was a loving person. And so might SOME of my family. But what about everyone else?
I don’t think they would.
Nobody would confuse my love with a Christ like extravagant love. Such really hit me hard.
In my podcast I outline 3 things that limit our ability to love others:
And I also outline 3 things that can help us to grow in our capacity to love:
- The attitude of Christ
- The vision to see people as we ought
- Bulldog tenacity
Please consider listening above to the podcast to hear these ideas fully fleshed out.