Sharing Love with the Lost (October)

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by Andrea N.

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.”
{1 Corinthians 13:4-6}

If you don’t know her now, she is someone that you probably have known in the past. She is a girl who laughs loudly, dresses inappropriately, and is obnoxious.

While our first reaction may be repulsion, the truth is that she needs love. Most often, love is the very last thing we want to give. Though we may not admit it, to you and me, a girl like this seems irritating, and sometimes just plain wicked!

However, honestly, we are the first to need a change of heart. We must realize that the thing a girl like this needs most is love, and that if we were in her place, we would want someone to reach out and encourage us. But how do we change our mindset from that of disgust, to a mindset of love?

We must first understand that “but for the grace of God” I would be her. It is not of my own power or goodness, but because God in His wisdom chose to place me in a Christian home and give me salvation.

“By the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace
which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.”

{1 Corinthians 15:10} 

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I am blessed to work on a church bus route and bring folks of all ages to our church each Sunday morning. Through this ministry, I have been able to meet several girls, and I get to see some of the “why” behind the way they act. I visit her home each Saturday. I have heard her parents yell at her. I have smelled the filth and seen the clutter in her home. All this leads me to realize two things.

First, there is a reason behind her behavior. She is loud, not only to get attention, but also to try to block out some of her world. She dresses atrociously to get attention and maybe just to fit in. She doesn’t even feel like she fits in in her own home. She is clingy because she feels that she has found someone who truly thinks of her as a person and she is starved for that love.

Secondly, I see that she is in desperate need of love. At some point, I had to come to the realization that God put these girls in my path for a reason. He doesn’t want me to turn my back to their need. It is more comfortable for me to stick with my little group of friends, but the Christian life isn’t about our personal comfort. Jesus certainly stepped out of His comfort zone when He died on the cross.

“Above all these things put on charity,
which is the bond of perfectness.”
{Colossians 3:14}

That being said, what are some practical ways we can reach out to these precious souls?

Smile straight at her. You will be delighted at the beautiful countenance you can pull from a seemingly hard, sullen girl. It sends a message that you care.

Take an interest in her. Fire questions until you find a subject she will talk about. Once she starts talking, listen! Try to have an interest in the things she is talking about, even if you don’t have an interest in it! (If the subject is inappropriate, gently lead the conversation elsewhere.)

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After you have won her confidence, you can start encouraging her in the Lord, but do not “preach.” One of the best times to encourage is when she asks you a question. When she says, “Why do you wear skirts?” Explain that you use the Bible as your foundation for everything including dress, or that you desire to honor your parents’ standards, or whatever direction you need to take it. Direct any question into the plan of salvation. If she is saved, a good way to encourage and direct the conversation is to ask about her Bible reading. That accountability is so important.

Let us not be classified is as “Christian snobs.” If others don’t see Jesus in us as His daughters, where else will they see Him? So the next time you feel repulsed by a worldly girl, let me encourage you to try to reach out to her instead. May God bless you as you show His love!

“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”
{Matthew 25:45}

-Andrea N. (19)