Love is What Changes People
April 9, 2019
Today it seems as though everyone is trying to get their opinion out there on anything that's important to them, especially when they disagree with someone else's opinion. And there's so much out there to disagree about, and so many ways to voice those opinions! Even among believers, so many seem bent on criticizing other believers' beliefs or lives. It's as though we've forgotten how much people mean to God and that He has called us to always show respect to others, whether we agree with them or not.
We need to ask ourselves what our purpose is for living. Is it to get our "right" opinion out there or to honor God and further the spread of the gospel? Honestly, the truth is that most people don't really care what you think, or if you go to church, or whether you know and say all the right things. What gets their attention is what you do. It's how you show your faith. The Scripture says, "The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love" (Galatians 5:6). What pleases and honors God is when we express our faith in Him through loving acts to other people.
Over the years I've come to see that the loving attitude of our heart toward others can bring healing and resolution and even change in others, but not always. However, even if they don't change, I can tell you that you'll change. The Scripture says, "Those who are kind benefit themselves" (Proverbs 11:17). Another translation says, "Your own soul is nourished when you're kind." When you're good to people, you bring healing to them, and you nourish your own soul. You're breaking down walls and barriers that would keep you limited. And that's what matters the most to God. He's not going to ask us how many people we changed, but whether we walked in love.
In this world that is so full of conflict, we need to step back and say, "I'm going to be loving toward people, especially difficult, unlovable people." Look for opportunities to be good to not only the difficult people in your life but also to those who are in your own backyard, or a coworker, or a neighbor who could use your help. The Scripture says, "Do not withhold good from whom it is due, when it is in your power to act" (Proverbs 3:27). We can do far, far more through love than we can by spreading our opinions. Amazingly, God works through the expressions of our love and touches the lives of others!