Why do you love?
Do you think of yourself as someone who loves, or at least likes, other people?
I guess most of us do like to think of ourselves that way.
But have you ever examined why you love people?
I am convinced that there are at least 3 major reasons why Christians behave with ‘love’ for people. And honestly, two of the reasons aren’t all that pretty.
1. I think that some ‘love people’ out of love for themselves. For instance, I once talked to a guy who stopped to help someone on the side of the road. His comment was, “I’d expect someone to do that for me.” And after a few moments of talking with him, it was obvious that his ‘act of kindness’ was motivated by a desire to build up points for himself. When he read, “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” his first thought was to be nice to others and therefore, build up credit for when others will be nice to him.
I don’t think that should be our motivation.
2. Still others ‘love others’ simply because they have a like or love for humanity. Their motivation comes from many different places, but ultimately it is a desire to be a good person, show kindness, etc. They may do this out of guilt, pressure or even worry. And the problem with this motivation is that it tends to be short lived. It doesn’t take long before humanity will lose its luster. I know many who have served in a soup kitchen, given away free gifts, served hours doing acts of kindness, etc… only to be disappointed at the response and therefore frustrated at people. You see, humanity is depraved. We are sinners. And we will take a good act of kindness and receive it with selfishness & entitlement.
If you are loving people, just because you love people, you may ultimately stop loving people.
3. Still there are others who love people because they love God… and He loves people and tells us that if we love Him, we should love people.
These are the people who make it long term. These are the ones whose love for people isn’t side tracked by how dumb and thankless people can be. These are the people who will love people long term.
Which is your motivation? Be honest with yourself.
If you want to know more, be at 4RC for the “Dirty Feet People” series which starts in Paducah this weekend.
These thoughts come from my study in preparation for preaching this Sunday.
I’ve been studying all day, preparing for my message this Sunday. It will begin the new series called “Dirty Feet People.” And basically I’m going to be talking about people whose love is manifested in action. Dirty Feet People are those who can’t help but show love for the church and the world, because they are driven by a love for God.
Are you a dirty feet person?