Love Beyond The Sidelines

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?” –Proverbs 24:11-12 (NIV)

As a result of the internet, we are fed with news from around the world instantly. Shocking news items pose that dilemmatic question, “what are we going to do about it?” One popular course of action has been through the website Facebook. During the 2009 Iranian protests or the recent earthquake in Japan, Facebook pages were set up dedicated to the events in order to bring awareness. People who were sympathetic to the cause had the option of pressing the “like” button and show their support. Some have criticized the practice of “liking” causes on Facebook on the basis that it really does not do anything for the people for whom these events are a tangible reality. However, while I think this is true to an extent, I also believe it is a great way for people who are limited by distance and resources to show their solidarity with people who are halfway around the world.

Yet how often are we unwilling to get involved when we have the means to do so! Perhaps it is more comfortable for us to love in theory rather than to love in action. Anyone can say that they would give of themselves in love and service regardless of the circumstances. But when the time comes to put our words to the test, we shy away and are content with loving from the sidelines. Why this hesitance? Maybe it is because we do not want to give up what we feel is rightfully ours. Our comforts, our resources, our reputations, all of these things will prevent us from practicing the love of Christ if we have turned them into idols. It is only when we have surrendered ourselves to Christ that His love will overflow from our hearts. When we have seated Him on the throne of our lives and have allowed ourselves to be guided by His Spirit within us, He will give us His love that is fearless and absent of pride. Through Him guiding us in His love, our words of compassion will not be just words, but actions backed by the desire to see God save the lost and heal the broken.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.