I’ve learned a couple things so far in my life with Jesus. I’ve learned that Jesus pursues me in love, that he uses circumstances to shape me—even that he talks with me regularly (whether I’m listening or not!).
These lessons—and many more—have greatly impacted my spiritual life, and they have greatly affected the way I treat those around me. Ultimately, I’ve learned that my actions reveal a lot about what I believe about love.
A Report Card
I’m not a very argumentative guy (even though I’m a lawyer and win arguments for a living), so if you can’t get along with me, you can’t get along with anybody. But every once in a while there will be somebody who is a little testy who wants to engage me, and I have to think to myself, This is a report card of what I’ve learned about love. I may disagree with their approach and their attitude. I may even disagree with their opinions completely. But I can choose to treat them with love and respect. Most folks may be known for their opinions, but I want to be remembered for my love. So when I interact with people who aren’t like me, I keep saying to myself over and over again, What do I want to be remembered for?
In Luke 14, Jesus essentially asked, “What’s the benefit to having a dinner and inviting all these people who can do swell things for you? Go find people who can’t do anything for you.” What does this mean? For me, it means loving people who aren’t like me, whose life experiences aren’t like mine, whose understanding isn’t like mine. It means just finding them and being with them. Don’t have a debate or an argument with them. Get to know the name of their first puppy. What if we did what it takes to have authentic care for others and love them extravagantly?1