To Truly Love

10 May

Blog post by Ryan W., Team Haiti 2012

I can give a ride to a friend, and they can give me one back. I can shovel the snow off my neighbor’s driveway and they can pay me. I can volunteer with some big fund raiser and someone well-known can thank me in front of a large crowd. I can do all these things purely out of love, but it would also be easy to do them for an earthly reward.

They can’t give anything back. They can’t repay you. Their voices aren’t loud enough for the multitudes to hear. They mean very little to most. They are the least in the eyes of the world. It would be hard to help the orphan if you didn’t love them. And THAT is what we as Christians are called to do.

Both the Old and New Testaments are full of commands (yes, commands) to look after those who have a hard time looking after themselves. By helping those that have nothing to offer in return we can truly learn to love others. You go into the situation not expecting to be paid or praised or have the favor returned. It slowly becomes a habit. Then you start helping those that can pay you or praise you or repay the favor, but you still do it without expecting it or even wanting it. And that is when you truly start to love them. When you expect a reward, you aren’t really helping them to help them, but to actually help yourself.

When Jesus spoke with a teacher of the law in Luke 10, he replied to the question of who one’s neighbor is with the parable of the Good Samaritan. Not only was this Samaritan despised by the Jews, but he lay on the side of the road completely helpless. The Samaritan did what his own people did not want to do and give selflessly. Jesus painted the picture of how we should treat each other—love unconditionally. After all, God loves us that way when we have no way of repaying Him.

Ryan resides in Missouri and will be serving with Journey 117 in October on the Haiti team as a co-leader.

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