Let’s be honest; it’s easy to love those who love us. Seeing a call from [insert your best friend or most stalwart supporter’s name here] usually finds us dropping everything to take that call.
For me, if I see “Dr. Chair of Fire” show up on my Caller ID, which is the name I have saved for Dr. Matt Queen, one of my dearest friends, encouragers, and mentor, I’ll answer that call! But if it’s…
Let’s not get me fired today, y’all.
When Jesus walked the earth, He certainly lived among and served the multitudes. He healed, he taught, he loved, and more. But he also had a few followers known as disciples, a motley crew of guys that were with him, learning from Him, and serving with Him.
Among them were three who were even closer; Peter, James, and John. And yet, He also had two others in His rag-tag bunch of followers; Thomas and Judas. Thomas had offered to die with Jesus, but later, after Jesus’ death, he earned the title, “Doubting Thomas,” because he doubted Jesus’ resurrection (John 20:25). Then there’s Judas, who, in Matthew 26:15, betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
You see, in ministry, or wherever we serve as leaders, we deal with people. Some are in your corner and would go to bat for you. These folks are a joy to lead! We need these guys and gals, for sure. I don’t know how many of them you have, but cherish every single one (as I know you do). While you’re certainly not Jesus, let’s just say these guys are your Peters, Jameses, and Johns––your followers.
Others might be on the fence and have some doubts about you or the decisions you make for whatever reason. Maybe they’re just waiting to see if you truly deliver, and perhaps this is exacerbated during this COVID-19 season. Again, you’re not Jesus, but these are your Thomases––your doubters.
Then there are those that show up on your Caller ID, and your heart skips a beat. You say to yourself, “Here we go again,” or just let them leave a message ‘cuz ain’t nobody got time for dat. For whatever reason, these folks fight you at every turn or, worse, when you turn your back and least suspect it, they stab you in the back. It bears repeating, you’re not Jesus, but these are your Judases––your backstabbers, your betrayers.
And we’re called to love all of them.
It’s easy to love our Peters, Jameses, and Johns. It’s not as easy to love our Thomases and Judases. As we aim to love like Jesus––yes, even the doubting Thomases and betraying Judases among us––let me give you two texts; one for each.
For the Thomases: And we exhort you, brothers and sisters: warn those who are idle, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:14 CSB).
For the Judases: “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28 CSB). In fact, I’d encourage you to read Luke 6:27-36.
Beloved, love the people in your corner, love the people on the fence, and love the people who’d just love to see you fail. Love ’em all, why? Because God loves you. And He loves them, too.