Learning to Love Your Sinful Neighbor

Our reluctance to move toward those identified as "sinful" keeps us from living like Jesus.
Learning to Love Your Sinful Neighbor

Jennifer was nervous.

When a friend had enthusiastically raved about one of their church's local ministries, Jennifer thought it would be a good way to love some neighbors in town she did not yet know. Now, though, her stomach was fluttering, and she began having second thoughts.

Stepping out of the car along with three other women, Jennifer balanced two hot pizzas in front of her. While her co-conspirators grabbed sodas and gift bags from the trunk—filled with scented body lotions, chocolates, and other goodies—she glanced around.

The gravel parking lot of The Doll House was crowded. It was Friday night, and the sky had been dark for several hours. Though she'd driven past the eyesore hundreds of times, Jennifer never once thought she'd be setting foot on the property. The sordid "entertainment venue" had a bad reputation in town and, though she knew it was silly, Jennifer was worried that someone she knew would see her there.

Respectfully, the women entered the establishment. As heads turned in their direction, it became evident that Doll House patrons and dancers and management were not used to seeing groups of well-coifed women showing up for the X-rated entertainment. The group quietly sat down, ordered drinks, and waited.

When the show ended, Sandy, their leader and an alum of the adult entertainment industry, followed a familiar hallway back to the dancers' dressing room. Knocking gently, Sandy introduced herself, and asked one of the women if she and her friends could come in and visit. With their permission, she signaled Jennifer and the others to join them.

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Margot Starbuck

Margot Starbuck, award-winning writer and speaker, is a graduate of Westmont College and Princeton Theological Seminary. A TCW regular contributor and columnist, Margot speaks regularly on discipleship, justice, and living love in the world God loves. Connect with Margot on Facebook, Twitter, or at MargotStarbuck.com.

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