Love the Sinners
I recently started a new job in a field I’ve never worked in before. They hired me based on my abilities in customer service, so the rest of the job definitely has a high learning curve.
But I’ve gotten some interesting insights into people through observing customers and coworkers alike.
There’s the coworker who is energetic and eternally cheering her coworkers on. Usually this is encouraging, sometimes it’s jarring – based on what’s actually happening.
There’s the guy who is on his way out of the job and now can’t stop complaining about the work environment – yet sometimes he offers a word of caution and helps the newbie realize there might be things to look out for.
There’s the quiet laid back girl who brings with her an energy of calm, but sometimes shows up late and might get herself fired because she doesn’t quite care enough.
There’s the hyperactive lady who is like the Energizer Bunny, getting tons of things done and making lists for other people to get done after she’s gone home.
And there’s the calm but effective lady who still is able to find the fun in her job and manages to make each shift a joy to work with her.
And the customers… there’s the woman who quietly whispers what she wants from you while also talking on her phone at the same time.
There’s the guy who can’t decide what he wants yet, but he’s sure it’ll only take him another minute or two… or three.
There’s the person who wants what he wants when he wants it, which is now, and you’re ridiculous for making him wait.
There’s the guy who is quite convinced that his words make sense and you ought to understand him but if you don’t, then clearly you’re the idiot.
All these people and more live in my town.
Of course, they all live in your town too.
Love the Sinners
I read a quote the other day that say the true test of Christianity is not loving Jesus, it’s loving Judas.
This made me pause. While I understand that Judas chose his path and we can’t condone evildoing, I think there’s a lot of truth in that quote.
We say we love Jesus. We know Jesus tells us to love our brothers in Christ. We talk about loving others to show them that Christ loves them.
But do we do it?
We’ve got all these different types of people around us in our daily lives. Not just during set ministry times, but when we walk into the store, or go to the office, or go for a family outing. They’re all around us.
As Christians we can sometimes spend so much energy trying to figure out what God wants us to do that we don’t see who God wants us to reach when they’re right in front of us.
We can become so consumed with trying to figure out if we’re called here or called there, we can forget that God’s ultimate purpose for us is to glorify Himself. Whether it’s through doing our best at a fast-food-restaurant job, testifying of Him at a Vacation Bible School with twelve children who came all week, or standing in front of a crowd giving a speech on the latest breakthrough in IT to a room full of your colleagues. All of it is to be for God’s glory.
Those different types of people I pointed out at the beginning, they each have something to teach us, and they each have a way God wants them to be reached for Him. They each need to be loved and told the truth.
Love is an Action, Not a Reaction
Thing is, different people are going to create different responses in us. We may love working with the energetic but slightly combative type, or we may love working with the easy-going, laid back type. We might be able to handle an angry customer and not able to handle the constant complaining of a coworker. We might sail right through the quagmire of an indecisive customer while feeling our teeth grit at a coworker who is habitually late to work and has to be prodded into doing certain tasks.
All that to say, we still must glorify God through our interactions.
Are we showing rejection or compassion?
Do we love the ones who we don’t naturally connect with? Do we show compassion to the ones whose faults set us on edge? Do we welcome the kid who looks like he does drugs on the weekend as eagerly as we welcome the kid who looks like he just walked off a Bible college campus?
Do we truly love the sinner?
What do you think?