“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” 1 John 4:20-21NIV
A wise person told me the only rules they saw in the New Testament were to love and to go. Not only are we to love our brothers, sisters, neighbours and friends but also our enemies. People can only see this love when we show it so it’s no good hiding like a hermit in a cave. We must get out and be in the world without being compromised by the world.
I live in a very small community, every knows of everyone and relatives are interweaved through the townlands. I’m a blow-in but I feel accepted, I have a friend, also a blow-in who didn’t fit in as well. She kept her nationality on her sleeve and made no effort to join the community, she left after a few years because it didn’t feel like home. So when I say keep uncompromised, I don’t mean keep to yourself. I joined the local football team, went running with a few young ones and generally had an active existence.
The other thing that got me chatting with people was I could fix computers. There was always someone wanting my patience with their machines and while I made their little darling PC’s speak to me they would glean information out of me.
My neighbours were fascinated by my children, and as a result wanted to know about them. When my eldest won some running trophy they sent cards, they were delighted for him and now consider him to be an inspiration. He quietly goes about his business, showing kindness to everyone, always willing to help and he has a love for Jesus too.
It came as no surprise to my community when I came out, they knew I was different and so me suddenly saying well actually I’m a Christian was not shocking, more like confirmation for them. One or two of them have asked more questions about it, a few think I’m in some weird sect, most have just carried on, asking for computer help in exchange for a cup of tea.
I think this is what we are supposed to do, isn’t it, show love in the way we are with people, not select people, but all people. I was in fellowship with a sister-in-Christ locally, we were discussing gossip and how to deal with it, admitting I heard gossip but didn’t pass it on. My sister admonished me correctly, explaining that I should as soon as someone says “Just between you and me” I should say “actually if you are going to share something about someone else I’d rather not hear it” She is so right, my head should be full of important things not tittle tattle. Not sure how I’ll go about it, but I will try to find a way of softening the sentence.