Everyone knows what Christians stand against – but what do we stand for?
In the social, political, financial and ideological chaos that is our world today it's easy to focus on all the views, values and even people that frustrate us. Through our Facebook posts and conversations we let the world know all that we stand against.
The problem is that when we join right in this chaos we often miss a conviction that should be of the utmost importance to us… to love others.
When you take a quick look at the prophet Elijah in the Old Testament you see a man of conviction. A man willing to stand up against sin- but also a man willing to love others – even people that don’t see eye to eye with him.
In 1 Kings 17:7-24 you see this account where Elijah performs 2 miracles for this seemingly random lady. He provides food for her in the middle of a drought and he revives her son after he stopped breathing. It’s a really cool account of two amazing miracles – but to be honest it seems a little hard to relate to. I don’t know about you but I’ve never performed a miracle.
But this passage comes alive when we find out where this lady lived.
She is from a place called Sidon. Now that may seem irrelevant except for the fact that the Sidonians were noted enemies of God. All throughout the Old Testament you hear of this pagan nation of Sidon that practices idolatry and is consumed in an immoral lifestyle.
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
It shows us what true godly love is… It’s loving people that aren’t like us!
This woman was the complete opposite of Elijah. She was everything that he stood against. Her lifestyle, her heritage, her religion, her views of wrong and right. Yet he still provided food for her and still healed her son.
It’s a picture of loving those that are a little hard to love. We see this reiterated by Jesus in one of the hardest passages in the Bible to live out…
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Matthew 5:43–44
Jesus longs for his people to love others. But not just the people that are easy to love – but those who oppose us- even hate us.
He longs for us to love those that see the world different, that have a different lifestyle, religion, standard of wrong and right and those that flat out despise us. He wants us to extend a caring arm to those that hate the church, make fun of Christians, and belittle our King.
That is much easier said than done – but it’s exactly what it means to live a life with conviction. Our natural reaction is to fight fire with fire. But Jesus tells his followers to fight fire with love.
Elijah was willing to genuinely care for someone that was his complete opposite. Are we?
Are we willing to love those that hate us?
Everyone knows what Christians stand against – But let’s show them what we stand for!! Let’s love others. Even if they hate us!