“I want the evangelical church in America to be a place of safety and hope for real people who face real problems. …Christianity is one of the largest religions in the world. Evangelical Christians are very influential in this country. Our churches are very well-positioned all over the country. We have the infrastructure built. But people who have real problems, people who have real challenges, people who need hope often are not turning to our churches. It’s partly because, since the New Deal and all the things that happened in the 1930s, all the people born after that think the government is the group that takes care of people’s needs, and the church takes care of just the spiritual. But if you look at history before the Great Depression, the church was very, very active in caring for all needs, for all people, all children. They were educating the illiterate; they were caring for the orphans; they were really seeking to care for people who were addicted to alcohol. And I think we can be that place of refuge again for people when they see the shallow and empty solutions that are available and they want something more real, something of depth, something beyond what we can see. They want to connect with a real God, to the real Almighty God. And I think sometimes our churches are caught up with what others think or with being afraid to speak out, and we’re often caught up, unfortunately, judging others … looking at each other as competitors, not as brothers and sisters, weighing whether they deserve our time or our love. And that’s really unfortunate. We really need to understand the grace of God that’s in our lives, set aside our preoccupation with deciding people’s worthiness, and really begin to see every human being with value, seeing every human being as a human soul that has crossed our paths for some purpose. That’s really why God put us on Earth: to love profoundly. And I think we are still not known for loving profoundly.” Lloyd Gestoso
“whoever loves others
has fulfilled the law.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Do you calculate “people’s worthiness” before you decide whether to help them?
- Does your denomination “love profoundly?” …your church? Would others use those words to describe you?
- Is your church more likely to produce people who are “judging others” or helping others “connect with” the God who is real?
Abba, help us, whoever we are, to love profoundly.
For More: The Soul of Politics by Jim Wallis
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)