I am coming more and more to the conclusion that in this community, filled with it's brokenness, in fact in all communities, the most needed response is love. Love is our most powerful weapon. Love is the only force behind true healing and restoration. Love looks prejudice, hatred, violence, indifference and injustice in the eye and overcomes.
When we respond with love we disarm the enemy. In fact, love means both you and your enemy win because it transforms you both. Clever arguments never bring lasting change because true change is not rooted in our heads but in our hearts. Threats of violence or force also does not bring true change because they only control the external. Love works deep down in our hearts. Love challenges selfishness. Love breaks into the darkest places. Love motivates sacrifice and releases joy.
Of all the weapons Christians have, unless they are used with love they are ineffective. Love ALWAYS overcomes. Prayer, testimony, even the word of God not used with love is formulaic, dry and ineffective.
So if Love is so powerful, why do we not see more of it?
The greatest challenge I find in releasing love is the tendency of my heart to become hard. When this happens I cannot respond in love. To love effectively, therefore, we need to guard is our hearts. We need soft hearts for the work we are called to do because pure love can only flow through soft hearts. We guard our hearts by being ready to forgive, by living at peace with our fellow man and through intimacy with God.
As we have loved people we have seen them begin to flourish, sometime even miraculously. I think of Sandile, the homeless guy who now calls me his father and Trish his mother. On our first encounter with him, he threatened to kill Trish. Love changed that, it changed him and it has been changing us.
So what challenge are you facing... ask this question... What would love do?
1 Corinthians 13 v 4 to 8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.