Permission to like non-Christians.
"The church has always told me to love non-Christians but they've never given me permission to like them."
Oh man, I about fell off my chair when I heard that at Catalyst.
Question: Do you like non-Christians? I know you "love" them (cause we have to right?) but do you actually "like" them?
It's hard to explain. Maybe this will help. Think Best buy and Kroger.
I often go to both. Best buy cause I'm a gadgets junkie and Kroger because it's where we mostly purchase groceries.
Fortunately both stores are literally right next to each other in Toledo so it makes double dipping easy which is good because I have to go to both often.
The only difference is I actually like going to best buy. You know, like I'll actually often go to best buy even when I don't have to buy anything.
Can't say I've ever done the same with Kroger. No offense against Kroger but unless I have a detailed list from my wife and I'm on a mission to buy something, there's no way I'd ever just 'go to Kroger'.
See I think that's how so many Christians interact with Non-Christians.
We have a relationship with non-Christians like I have a relationship with Kroger because there's always a 'hook' or a 'mission' and our love is often obligated (all good things by the way).
In other words, I think if we didn't have to 'love' non-Christians, and if Jesus didn't love non-Christians and if pastor didn't preach a convicting sermon on loving non-Christians, we would never go out of our way to "love" people who are nothing like us.
I know he spent time with "sinners" and tax collectors to tell and show them God's love, but you know what, I think he actually liked it. I think Jesus actually liked hanging out sinners and tax collectors. I think he actually liked them.
It wasn't like going to Kroger. It was like going to best buy because even if He knew they wouldn't accept his message, he would do it anyway.
You know one of the best friends I've had in the last decade was not a Christian. Last time I said that in a room full of Christians, I felt like I got some really weird looks. It's like I had permission to love the guy, I just couldn't like him.
The funny thing is if I stopped at "I was HIS best friend", I might have gotten a standing ovation.
But Sammy, how can a non Christian be YOUR best friend?
I really liked the dude.
We didn't agree on much spiritually and we would often go back and forth about God but all in all we both enjoyed our friendship and cared deeply about each other.
And you know what? Weird or the way it should be?
Maybe I lost you on the whole Kroger and Best buy thing. How about this?
I can love my wife because that's what a good husband is supposed to do and because that's what God commanded (all good reasons) and not because I actually really like her.
Or I can love her because it's what the bible and God commands AND because I actually think she's smoking and she's my favorite person to be around.
Does this make any sense at all or am I just rambling? Thoughts?
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