Now He had to go through Samaria.—John 4:4
Much of my life and calling is communicating through the power of words. But words only go so far without actions. Please don’t get me wrong… we’ve got to keep writing, preaching, talking. And for many, that is our main gifting. But we’ve got to make sure we also offer the love and acceptance we speak of through our intentional actions.
When Jesus visited with the Samaritan woman, it says in John 4 “he had to go through Samaria.” He was not forced to go, but he intentionally had to go because, through the guidance of his father, he knew he had a job to do. He had to go outside the expected cultural and traditional norms to offer grace and eternal life to the Samaritan women, who would then spread the good news to her entire town. It was not normal for a Jewish man to go near Samaria. But Jesus lived with the intention of offering acceptance and grace to everyone, including those outside of where it was considered his “normal” comfort zones.
If you really want to deepen your relationship with Christ through loving people, GET UNCOMFORTABLE. Minister to a hurting stranger, love the people beyond your city’s safest and most privileged neighborhoods, and give generously and prayerfully through your time and resources.
Christianity and to “be the church” is not about just gathering with one familiar group of people. It’s about seeing our world as God sees it, and reaching out beyond our circles and norms. It’s truly about loving everyone… no matter what they look like, who they vote for, or where they live.
Because we, like Jesus, have a job to do. And with the guidance of our Father, we have to go there.
Prayer: God, thank You for Your strength and guidance to show me how to love others, especially those that are not like me or in my circle of friends and family. Help me to intentionally be a light that shines with Your love, and forgive me of any times I have failed in this area. You have called me to love others as myself, so send me and show me opportunities to fulfill this calling on my life. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Additional words to remember:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. —1 John 4:7-8
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. —John 13:34
This is what the Lord Almighty said: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. —Zechariah 7:9