If I haven’t told you already (and I’m pretty sure I have), I work in a customer services position. Every day myself and my co-workers are hit with a barrage of anger, stress, frustration, and annoyance from the people we speak to. Personally, it tends to drain me pretty badly, mentally and physically, and some nights I fall asleep wondering about the human race and why it thinks it can behave in the way it does.
Before you all tell me to get off my high horse, I don’t mean that I’m perfect, but I do think that, as a Christian, when I see people acting in this way I should do all I can to counteract this attitude.
The world does not love grace and mercy; society calls people to deserve things, the human race believes that nothing should come easily.
But Jesus didn’t die so this attitude could carry on forever:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…”
I’m a firm believer in loving people and not forcing my beliefs on them and I believe that if my life is the only glimpse of Jesus that people ever get in their day to day lives, then it’s important that I just love them. Loving people involves giving up a lot, but most importantly it involves giving up time. Time is precious, as I’m sure you’ve heard said before, and we can’t love people if we’re constantly rushing around doing things for ourselves.
I don’t think we should do this with the hopes of converting people, after all that’s not what we’ve been called to do (1 Cor.3:6-7 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (NIV)), and is also what offends people so greatly. The most important thing is that we do just what Jesus did, and that we let people know that they’re not alone, but that they are important and worth something, far more than what this world would have them believe.
Grace should be far more freely available to people than it is, it’s as simple as that.
And people should be able to expect this of Christians, they should expect love and forgiveness and time and patience. Not in a demanding, self-righteous way (after all, we’re not door mats), but in the same way that I just know that, when I’m with my Christian friends, they will treat me with great love and respect.
The human race is broken, every single one of us, and we’re all in need of love and forgiveness. I encourage you to love everyone who you come into contact with because, as Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (NIV)