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A wealthy man and his wife are walking down the street toward their car after a nice dinner out.  As they round a corner, they almost trip on a young woman laying on the sidewalk.  They stop, looking down at her.  “She’s probably a drug addict,” the man says sadly.  “What do you think she was before she became a drug addict?” his wife asks.  “I don’t know.  She might have been a prostitute.”  “And before that?” she asks.  “Well, before that,” he says thoughtfully, “she was probably just a little girl.”  The man and his wife exchange a look, then they pick the young woman up, put her in their car and take her home to care for her.

Every person you will ever encounter, no matter how rich, how poor, how attractive, how sick, how friendly, or how rude, was once a little boy or a little girl.  Spend an afternoon in the park and you’ll see future lawyers, doctors, teachers, mothers, fathers, astronauts and firefighters.  Spend an afternoon in the park and you’ll also see future murderers, drug addicts, thieves, and prostitutes.

When we begin to see the person behind the circumstance, it becomes so much easier to love that person.  As followers of Christ, our lives ought to be defined by how we love.  Jesus said that the world would know who was and was not His follower by the way they love others (John 13:35). 

Remember, that man who cut in front of you at the grocery store is loved by God.  That woman sitting on the sidewalk downtown is loved by God.  That teenager who cut you off on the road and then flipped you off is loved by God.  Your neighbor who keeps walking his dog on your lawn is loved by God.

You are loved by God.

As people dearly loved by our Creator, what right do we have to withhold His love from those around us?  As those who call ourselves by Christ’s name, how can we move through life and not show His love to every single person we meet, every single day?

We are called to set an example for others in the way we love.  Let’s start by remembering that no one on this earth is unworthy of our love, because no one on this earth is unworthy of God’s love.

Who has shown love to you when you didn’t “deserve” it?  To whom do you need to show love today?

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