Never Too Bad To Love

March 29, 2014
by Martin Wiles

My parents cautioned me about it over and over again — especially my dad.

When I became a middle-schooler, my parents began to warn me about whom I hung around with. "Bad company corrupts good morals," they would say. While both my parents were Christians, my dad was a fundamentalist. (I know because he proudly proclaimed himself as one.) So my young life was filled with rules and regulations — warning me against particular behaviours considered off-limits and against associating with those who would tempt me to consider those behaviours. There were even a few years when they sent me to private schools, hoping that I would meet a better quality of peers.

But Jesus … He hung around with the very types of people my parents warned me against.

Mark 2:16 – But when the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees saw him eating with tax collectors and other sinners, they asked his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum?" (NLT)

Most of Jesus' time was spent hanging around with those others didn't want anything to do with … those with dreaded diseases … those with immoral lifestyles … those who lived on the wrong side of the tracks. Jesus knew that well people don't need a doctor … sick people do — people sick with the effects of sin. No one was too bad for Jesus to love. Nor should they be for me. He loved me when I was undeserving, and I must love others, too.

Through my experiences with others and because of my human nature, it's easy to develop prejudicial attitudes and stereotypes. Jesus' nature of pure love prevented these from developing in His life, and with His love flowing through me, I, too, can put them aside.

Jesus was always the influencer … but He was never influenced. While no one is too bad for me to love, I must be careful that I'm always the influencer rather than being influenced.

Is there anyone or any group that you've labelled as "too bad to love"?

Prayer: Father, may we always love others with the same love that we're loved with by You. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good one Martin, Thank you.


    Amen!
    Thanks for writing to us.
    Be fully Blessed.


    Right on! I really feel that God has been giving me that message for a while now. You reconfirmed it.
    Thanks.


    We are the salt of the earth. We have to sprinkle ourselves around — can not sit in one big lump. Salt and Light, and it is that difference that people notice. And your devotional dearly points this out — in it but not of it!


    Dear Martin Wiles,
    Thank you for expressing and recommending the DO’s and DON’Ts in Jesus Way.
    Keep writing.


    Thanks for this timely reminder. I live in a very affluent area and it’s easy to ignore “the lost, the lame, the leper and the loser” as one of my pastors used to say. Blessings,
    (BC Canada)


    Dear Martin,
    I can understand your parents’ concern from a biblical perspective but you also brought up some interesting points. The question you raised is a good one for every Christian to contemplate in our relationship with God and to others.
    Blessings.


    Dear Martin, Your devotional today was very inspiring. The best part is that no matter how rotten I may be, I am still lovable by Jesus. It is harder to be enthusiastic about loving others who may seem to us to be unlovable. It can be difficult to love those who may seem to be unlovable — “not our type.” How can we not be influenced by their lifestyle (especially when we are young and trying to figure out who we are)? How can we not be an enabler to behaviour which is personally destructive? I will print out your devotional. Thanks for the help.


    I loved your message Martin. It makes (me) us realize Jesus loved (me) us in spite of our weaknesses and sinful natures- Maybe we were shiny on the outside, however He knows our hearts and knows all have sinned and come short of His glory and knowing this about us He still reached down, touched our lives (mine when I was 12) and made us His very own.
    Thank you for a marvelous message.
    Wasn’t He wonderful not to judge, but only to love.
    A great great message.


    What I have found, Martin, is that these prejudices are so very subtle that I hardly notice those moments of hesitation or withdrawal or even conscious turning away. Those times are caused by my own automatic judgments, and I have asked The Lord to make me into a person who can love without hesitation. Perhaps there are times, people, places where The Lord will prevent us from getting too involved. I’m counting on Him to keep me safe. On the other hand there is that unconscious hesitation or holding back that I want to be rid of.
    Thanks for your comments and reminder to stay so open to His Love that we are able to be used BY Him to pass it on to the very people who are so often disregarded and abandoned because of their behaviours and or appearance. Blessings on your day.


    Very powerful message. Thank you Martin. The enemy sure wants us to think we are “too bad”.
    Blessings.

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