A Better Question
I turned off all my news notifications. There’s too much upsetting information to digest. I have been thinking and sharing some disparaging opinions of others. My inability to comprehend why some people act the way they do tempts me to write them off as idiots. If people want to be treated humanely, then they should act like humans, right?
Politics have a way of bringing out the inner mudslinger in all of us. I examine some issues and think, “Now, what’s a Christian supposed to do about that?”
We have been trained to ask “What would Jesus do?” He is, after all, the One we are supposed to be emulating. Most of us have worn a WWJD bracelet at some point in our past.
However, asking what Jesus would do has never been helpful to me. It doesn’t take long to realize that Jesus would not even be in this mess because He would have done the right thing in the first place!
What if we started asking, “How would Jesus love?” instead. How would Jesus treat the person standing in front of me right now?
Jesus was radical—loving extravagantly without compromising truth.
He sought out those cast aside, embracing the unworthy and unwelcome. He confronted those who knew Scriptures best and tried hardest to do right—the ones who completely missed it when God Himself stood before them.
I don’t want to make that same mistake.
Jesus took all God’s instructions and distilled it down to one: Love God and love people (Mark 12:30-31). It’s tempting to break this command into two parts, but God makes it clear we can’t claim to love Him if we don’t love the people He made (1 John 4:20-21).
God defines love as a verb, not a fuzzy feeling. To love another human is to make a choice to act in their behalf (1 John 3:18). Love is action—what we say, how we behave, and how we treat others.
The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s apathy.
It’s not enough to refrain from hateful speech or actions. If we aren’t actively pursuing people with grace, then we don’t love them and therefore, we don’t love God like we say we do. Ouch!
You have not taken care of the weak. You have not tended the sick or bound up the injured. You have not gone looking for those who have wandered away and are lost.
~ Ezekiel 34:4, NLT
If we spend more of our time and effort debating today’s hot topics than we do actively loving the people directly affected, then we’ve missed the point.
Oh Lord, have mercy on us!
Our world is overflowing with triggers that spark arguments. God keeps it simple for us. Just love people.
God won’t ask you who you voted for or if you were in favor of this war or opposed that law. He’ll ask, “Did you know my Son?” and “Did you love my people—all my people?”
How will you respond to humanity hemorrhaging with the need of Divine Love?
While you’re thinking about that, go ahead and swap out your WWJD bracelet for one that says HWJL and snap a picture.
Use the hashtags #HWJL & #howwouldjesuslove to spread the word.
Share your answer to the question “How would Jesus love?” on social media.
Give people something better to dwell on than the latest polls, debates, and violence.
Let’s fill our feeds with love!
There’s only one answer to “What would Jesus do?” He would love. So let’s love like He does!
What Love Does
If you are ever uncertain of how Jesus would love, there is a beautiful description of what Love does in 1 Corinthians 13.
(This is quoted fromThe Message rendition.)
If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end…
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:
Trust steadily in God,
And the best of the three is love.
How can I love like Jesus did?
Where is my life bankrupt of love?
How would Jesus treat the person in front of me right now?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this message: You Want Me to Love Who?