Love in Action / Love Inaction?

When so many possibilities of corruption exist, and when so very often political office as well as large portions of the
justice system are able to be manipulated on the basis of money, truly solving problems in society can seem, yes not only
seem to be but in fact are (in the natural, practical sense) impossible to overcome.

How does one wake up “the wrong color”, on the wrong side of the economic tracks, few if any job opportunities, gang bangers
threatening and beating people up, threats on one’s family coupled with living in a one-parent household help one to escape
eventual criminal activity and jail, prison, a series of convictions and finally a wasted life that eventually just ends?

I know it’s all about salvation in Jesus Christ! I get that!! I’m a pastor and evangelist and have seen countless numbers of
people pray and receive the grace of God in His forgiveness and a new life.

Certainly God DOES provide new friendships, jobs, housing in (generally “better”) neighborhoods… but the temptation for so
many young men and women in these situations is to just give up and give in. Drug habits (sometimes one of the few sources
of pleasure) and sexual escapades (one of the other few sources) are so available and both the pressure and temptation is
stark and real in the face of the other realities I mention here.

Job opportunities are few and far between, sometimes one’s family members are at least as caught in habitual sin as the
individual is, and so jail and/or prison is a continual revolving door.

The church often does little or nothing about all this. “They are reaping what they’ve sown… period” is the oft-thought
response.

While I cannot argue with that truth on the one hand, neither can most otherwise genuine Christians I know who do little or
nothing to help change things for (mostly) minorities in society who are caught in the cycle of crime-lockup-crime.

Of course self-destruction ends up being shared with others… nobody every really sins where others are not adversely
affected by it. Either the hurt and pain is shared one way or the other, in the misery of shared experience of one you love
wasting their life and paying the often horrid price of living in sin… or being the victim of such a person’s crime,
misery and distance from God.

How to close the gap?

I keep returning to John 3.16 and yes, 17!

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Let’s face facts: many of us are tempted with extreme fear and/or extreme anger about such matters as those I’m laying out
in this blog post.

Our sins nailed Jesus to the cross just as much as some poor and addicted criminal who brings havoc and death to our
neighborhood.

Nobody’s sin is any cleaner, nicer or more acceptable to God than the next person’s!

At the same time it’s obvious that some sin causes a great deal more pain and destruction to self and others.

What I am saying is that true followers of Jesus need to think seriously about what WE can do, how WE can pray, how WE can
somehow reach out in love and with grace to help.

We may see very little salvation, few repentant people and very few whose lives are forever changed in the positive direction of God and neighbor love, personal responsibility and working rather than law-breaking for a living… but to be
extremely blunt, very few Christians that I know make much difference and nary a dent with regard to these issues.

We then blame or cast our hopes on politicians and the judicial system to fix what ails both the criminal and our streets- which as I believe I accurately say here, are largely for sale.

Why am I not in despair, living in great fear and deep anger over all this?

I happen to- and solely by the grace of God mind you- be blessed living with and working alongside of a group of people who daily work to bring the love, life and grace of Jesus -in PRACTICAL ways- to the very people in the very situations I mention here. In other words, my life has (much to my own surprise…) more and more been caused to entertain Matthew 25 principles… but not merely in principle!

Who- in your area- actually works to make a positive difference in other’s lives? Who lives for Jesus and others and not merely for self and survival? What people (with all their own temptation, sins, warts and imperfections) actually works to make a positive difference in your area of the world? What stops you from somehow getting involved with them in some sort of practical way of serving, helping, DOING something rather than simply worrying, pointing fingers and thinking that it’s someone else’s job to love and serve those in need around you?

I am NOT saying everyone must do as I/we/our church community does! NO. I AM saying too many talk and do nothing more than talk about societal problems. Too many think if they vote correctly they can then push away from the table and get on with their own life. Too many think they can somehow separate and compartmentalize their daily life in neat and segregated sections: Sunday I’m in church, Monday to Friday I work a job, watch tv or cruise the internet and sleep. Saturday I mow the lawn or engage in my hobbies. “That’s life and by God nobody better bother me with any more than that!!”

I frankly think that’s the mindset of far too many people, yes, even Christian people in our culture.

Another lame excuse is that they aren’t trained professionals and therefore best leave such troublesome matters and people to those who are.

There IS pain in getting close, in getting involved in hurting people’s lives. I freely admit that it’s not easy and sometimes very disheartening to work with someone over several years and watch them make continually self-destructive choices… as well as how others then “share the wealth”. But I also think one must live with one’s own conscience.

We know mere words and yes, votes ARE NOT going to bring the sort of healing and sea-change so many people need.

So what about love, even suffering love? Might this be what we see in Jesus? Might it not be the very thing He’s calling you and I to live out relationally with others?

How can they believe when so many Christians keep their distance out of fear and/or anger?

How can they believe in a love they’ve only heard about and so rarely seen in the people of God?

It’s your turn and mine to do more than talk.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for biblical activism… to those who are learning to actively love! -Glenn

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2 thoughts on “Love in Action / Love Inaction?

  1. funny. thats what our pastor at bac is preaching aboutreaching people with a hole in their soul, the lostno jesus to fill that hole.i felt like using drugs and alcohol because of no graditude for my lifei found Gods plan and purpose in life by accepting my life for what it isi am 20 years clean and sober and about took it all backmy life? make coffee and chair Alcoholics ANonymous meetingsvolunteer at the hot lineplay guitar for no pay at local church.God had me go threw things to help others

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