God is for All People

If you’ve been around Hope for a while, then you’ve probably noticed that I have the hardest time loving people that are uber religious. I’m not talking about people who are faithfully trying to follow Jesus; I’m talking about those who use the scriptures to exclude others, exalt themselves, and talk about loving others while rarely sacrificing in order to do so. In the scriptures these people are referred to as the Pharisees.

I’m guessing you might read that previous paragraph and sense some judgment coming from my words, and you may be right. It tends to be easier for me to love the sexually immoral then it is the religiously pious. And, I want to be better about loving everyone. Honestly, it’s something I’m working on.

Not long ago, I found myself in a meeting with an uber religious man, and he just bothered me. I found myself struggling to truly love and care about him. Later that evening I was talking with God about it, and I asked God to soften my heart towards this man. I sensed God telling me I should ask to meet with the guy again and tell him how I was feeling. This was obviously not something I was excited to do but it was clear this was what God was encouraging me to do, so I reached back out to him and set up the meeting.

During our meeting I asked this man about his approach to ministry, and I shared how I struggled with some of the things I had seen him doing. We had a fruitful conversation, and while we agreed to disagree on a few things, it was clear that we were both truly trying to follow Jesus. Afterwards, we understood each other better, and I found my heart softening towards this man. The Lord had answered my prayer.

I share this with you because sometimes God is asking us to love the very people that are hardest for us to love, and in the process, we may come to see the beauty of God’s grace.
God is for the person you least expect Him to be for. And that truth is pretty cool, because I’m probably last on someone else’s list of people they want God to be for. Same for you, maybe.
For a deeper dive into this truth, check out Romans 8:31-39.