May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.
2 Thessalonians 3:5
Earlier this year my fifth grade daughter got into trouble at school for being mean to another girl, a legitimate anomaly. Normally, she is quick to include everyone. But, she revealed to me the age old story that one girl didn’t like this other girl and was pressuring all the girls to ostracize her. Sadly, my daughter succumbed to her insistence and was caught excluding the “outsider”. While I was disappointed, truly I know the struggle she was facing. How do we love the outsider? Is it worth it to include them only to be marginalized with them? Can’t we just ignore the problem, or just go along without involving ourselves?
In this passage, Paul prays that the Lord would direct the hearts of his readers into God’s love. What is that love like? And, why does it matter? God’s love for us is an everlasting, sacrificial, all-inclusive, overwhelmingly beautiful love. It doesn’t make sense. Why would a self-sufficient Being sacrifice his very Self for the selfish. Why would a wholly perfect Person be crushed to make the broken whole? The Bible tells us that God IS love. It is his very character that compels our God to love the other, the outsider, even the enemy and proclaim them loved and accepted and wanted. This verse in 2 Thessalonians calls me to direct my heart into the love of God. And, because I have been so wondrously loved out of my sinful rebellious life, I am now compelled, even commanded to love the outsider and the unloved.
So, what did I tell my daughter? You are loved. You are accepted. You are wanted. And because you experience such love, you must share it with those around you. 1 John 9-10 says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
How can you reach out and love the outsiders in your own sphere of influence?
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