Only The Lovely?

I heard someone say today, that she does not have time to waste doing things she doesn’t like, or deal with people who don’t like her. She went on to say that she only wants to deal with the people who “need a word” from the Lord.  This person tends to be a great minister of the Word. But, today, I was cautioned to think sensitively about dealing with opposition, people we don’t like, or people who may not like us …

That unlovely person might be your assignment.

We are not called to love only the lovely, and the people who like us. Nor are we to live in such a way that we never encounter an undesirable situation. We are called to live in peace with one another and pray for those who persecute us true enough, but those are also the people to whom we ought to be witnessing.  We were commissioned to go out into the world to seek and save the lost, not sit patiently in church or Bible study waiting for those in need to find us.  It might be the person who hates us that we are assigned to for ministry. It might be in the task we dislike that God positions us to be a vessel through which he can work.

Your time is not wasted on being nice to the unlovely. Your time is not wasted while you work a job you dislike for the purpose of being a witness to righteousness. Nice people need the Lord, but no more so than those who are disloyal, dishonest, and disengaged from a way of life that is purposeful, and prosperous.

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Check the Gate

I went to the Nigerian Embassy this week, was ahead of schedule so I had plenty of time to enjoy the nice day as I walked to the building. But as I walked up the street, I noticed a group of people starting to form at the gate outside. People were checking their watches and peeking through the fence. I was early so it didnt bother me that we may still be locked out.  I stood for only seconds with two gentlemen who arrived as I did before one of them checked his watch, mumbled something about the time while choosing to shake the gate and alert someone to our presence instead.

As he pushed his hand into the gate, it swung open wide. We all walked into the Embassy thinking we had gotten in ahead of the crowd, but were greeted by a room already full of people who had checked the gate and walked in.  On my way out, there was another group of people standing at the gate peering through, very eager to see a person coming from the building. I called to them to just push the gate open. I was excited about letting them know how to get in because I received what I went for, and wanted them to be just as successful. But they stood there looking at me seeming to wonder how I had made it through.  Again, as I walked, I told the young man at the gate to just push it open; it was not locked. He said, “But there is a lock on the door”. True, there was a lock hanging on the gate, but it wasn’t connected to any other part of the fence. I repeated that it was in fact open, and he grabbed the iron and started to shake it. At the first push, the gate swung open and the group disappeared into the building.

Whatever it is you desire, and are looking at through the fence, check the gate. Just because it looks like you cannot get passed an obstacle, doesn’t mean there hasn’t already been an opening made for you. The man I was standing next to, desperately wanted what he knew was on the other side…how much do you want to access that which you are just peering at through the fence? Check the gate.