How often do you really show the love of Christ to others? This question comes as a result of the Orlando night club shooting that claimed the lives of 49 innocent people as well as injuring many.
In great numbers, people all around the world have come together to offer their support, prayers, and assistance to the victims and their family members. It brought me great joy to see people of different nationalities, cultures, and religious backgrounds come together and aid to the victims.
Unfortunately, where there is good, evil is present. I’ve seen many, including some Christians, take to social media to promote messages of hate, violence, intolerance, judgment, and condemnation to the LGBT community. All laced in, “this is God’s wrath on gay people” or “I’m just preaching the Word of God.”
It is beyond saddening that some, in the name of “religion”, have become cold hearted and insensitive to the lives of the victims because of their sexual orientation. Today I want to encourage you, and challenge you even, to show the love of Christ to others. No matter your personal opinions or belief’s, everyone is worthy of God’s love.
7 Ways Christians Can Show the Love of Christ
1. Be Moved with Compassion
Compassion, a form of love, is our response to those who are suffering. It means to “suffer with” or to “suffer together”. It is a state of selflessness that stirs up the desire to help one other than yourself. Oftentimes, those in trouble or in need.
Psalms 78:38 describes God as being full of compassion. This same compassion forgave our sins, didn’t destroy man, have many times turned away God’s anger, and didn’t stir up all of His wrath.
Jesus was always moved with compassion in the scripture. Just imagine how better the world may be if we had the same compassion in our heart toward others. Ask yourself, what can I do to help alleviate the suffering of someone else?
2. Walk in the Other Persons Shoe
Where as compassion is a call to action, empathy goes a little deeper in that you experience some of the pain the person is going through yourself. This doesn’t mean you’ve gone through similar experiences, but it means that you are sharing in that person’s experiences emotionally.
Empathy goes a long way because every person likes to know someone cares about their situation. I cannot begin to imagine how frightening, painful, and devastating that night was for the Orlando victims; and the unsurmountable grief this has caused their family and friends. Christ was always moved by the needs of people. As followers of Christ, we should remember that there’s a time to discuss biblical matters, and there is a time to lay aside our differences and empathize with others.
3. Show Some Loving-Kindness
Loving-kindness is an expression of kindness, motivated by love. In Jeremiah 31:3, the Lord says, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore, with loving-kindness I have drawn you.” Unfortunately, some Christians “forget” this. Instead of drawing people in with the love of God, some have effectively pushed people, including some of those in the LGBT community, away from God.
You can’t shove scripture down peoples throat, bash them and condemn them to hell, and then in the same breath preach to them about Jesus. It’s no coincidence that love and kindness are fruits of the spirit, and that such fruits were used to draw me and you to the Lord. We should practice kindness, and let God’s love for others be our driving force.
4. Give Sacrificially
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). I recently read an article about a mother literally taking bullets for her son during the Orlando massacre attack. Now understand that I am not telling you to take bullets for someone. However, this mothers sacrifice is worthy of recognition. She saved her sons life at the expense of her own. To me, this mother’s bravery and sacrifice represent mothers all over the world that wouldn’t do anything to protect their child.
Furthermore, tragedy creates opportunities for people to help and bless others. Ask yourself, what can I give sacrificially that will be of benefit to someone else? Giving doesn’t necessarily mean monetarily; you can also choose to give through your time, gifts, talents, or professional services.
5. Forgive Unmeasurably
A survivor of the Orlando attack urged others to forgive. When your life is threatened, what someone has done to you suddenly doesn’t matter. You begin to think about everyone you love.
Forgiveness is a lifelong decision. Jesus states to forgive 70 x 7 (Matthew 18:21-22). This is not a literal expression to forgive 490 times, but rather to forgive beyond measure.
6. Offer Your Prayers
Instead of offering prayers of strength and healing to the Orlando victims, some have resorted to judging, shaming, bashing, condemning and writing victims off to hell. What if Christ did that to us? Instead of interceding for us, wrote us off to hell?
What occurred in Orlando is not God’s wrath or judgment on the LGBT Community. What we saw was an act of hate and terrorism. Such circumstances warrant our prayers for the victims, their family members and friends, and for the city of Orlando.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). Prayer doesn’t cost you anything but your time. Don’t become so religious that you become insensitive to the heart of God for others.
7. Love Unconditionally
Last but not least, love unconditionally. The Bible says, “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8, NLT). This is God’s love for us without limitations, conditions or strings attached. This is love in action.
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? (1 John 4:20, NLT)
Jesus stood with, ate with, talked with, and was among the “sinners”. He often went against the religious customs and traditions of the time; so much so that Pharisees questioned Him and His sovereignty.
As Christians, I think we at times forget that the world is made up of different views, opinions, and belief systems. It is not our responsibility to shame or belittle, to cast away and denounce ties to, or to condemn someone because of their sexual orientation. The responsibility we have as Christians is to show the love of Christ to everyone.
Showing the Love of God to Others: Final Words
Some Christians believe standing with the LGBT community, or extending a helping hand to the LGBT community signifies their support to a “lifestyle” contrary to what they believe. However, I believe it shows how some of us really miss the heart and compassion of God.
The LGBT Community has encountered some unloving people that proclaimed to be followers of Christ. If we are going to proclaim we’re Christians standing on God’s Word, then we should also ensure we are not hypocrites of the Word by failing to show the love of Christ to others.
The greatest commandment Jesus said is to love the Lord. The second is just as important, to love others. I challenge you to see the humanity of all people. Not just in those who share in your beliefs, but also in those that do not. Jesus commanded us 3 times in John 13:34-35 to love one another. Maybe that should tell us something…
What are your thoughts? Share in the comments below.