Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Non-Reciprocal Love

Submitted by Stephen Trainer
Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you. Luke 14:13-14

An upside down life is all about non-reciprocal love. Jesus never evaluated someone’s ability to provide some kind of “return on investment” before serving them. He never gave anyone a bill or asked for anything in return.

The value of non-reciprocal love is at the heart of Jesus's teaching. He taught us to help the poor, maimed, lame and blind precisely because they cannot repay you. Jesus saw entire communities of need, but then met the personal need of the individual, never expecting a payback.

Today, communities of need exist in our cities and towns. Places where people are particularly vulnerable to damaging outcomes. Unfortunately, these areas are where the fewest churches and ministry centers are being planted. Is God calling no one to the “least of these”?

I think He is. Jesus sends us to these communities to do what He did: love those that can't pay us back. Serve the unserved, underserved, un-deserved.  An upside down life helps us understand that each of us is undeserving of God’s grace.

So what should we do? Do what Jesus did: meet needs, set people free, and teach upside-down principles for living God's way.

Lord, show me the needy of my community and teach me to love them.

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