Last night in our small group, Scott and Krista shared with us some of their favorite verses/passages. One of the verses that really struck me was 1 John 3:18, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” It’s not a big verse, but his has a big meaning. Several years ago I started to notice a change in myself that was pointed out to me by an unlikely source. It started when I became more concerned with people who were popular and nice on the surface than with friends who were interested in the real me. I became more mean spirited and snobby, and even after it was pointed out to me that I had changed, I was still more interested in these people. I was mean to people who loved me, and began loving myself far more than anyone else. This is something with which I still struggle big time.
When Krista read this verse last night and began talking about loving people intentionally, I started to think back to all of the people over the last few years that I just wrote off because they annoyed me. I thought about how selfish and self-righteous I have become and it made me so sad. For one thing, as many people as there are that annoy me, I know that I annoy others, too. Should I not extend the same measure of grace that I would hope for others to extend to me? And even more so, should I not treat “the least of these” as Christ would treat them and has treated me? Intentionally. He loves intentionally.