Saturday, March 17, 2007

Real and Impersonal Love

"As it is written: 'He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever'"(2 Corinthians 9:9, NIV).

Yesterday, I wrote, "Following Jesus means learning to love people, not just good causes." While that is true, it may be misleading. After all, I have rarely met people who support good causes who did not love people also.

In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul was writing to a church that had committed itself to the cause of supporting a church hundreds of miles away, a poor church with members that most of them did not know and would never meet personally. The Corinth church supported the cause of aiding the Jerusalem church because the Corinth church was motivated by a love for fellow Christians, not because they knew each other well.

I have been thinking about the good and generous people who never knew me, but who have supported a cause that has helped me. Because they loved someone that they did not know, I benefited from scholarship funds to attend Oklahoma Christian University. Because they supported Christian Services of Oklahoma, Janet and I were able to adopt Christopher. Because they supported the cause of translating the Bible into modern English, I can read from the New American Standard Bible, the New International Version, and many other fine translations of God's word. I am thankful that God has used people to bless my life in numerous ways.

I want to help people in similar ways. I want to care about people personally, and I want to support good causes that help people impersonally. I may never know who has benefited from my support of Christian Services of Oklahoma, the Christian Relief Fund, Oklahoma Christian University, Pioneer Bible Translators, or other causes. However, if people are helped by my support, then it is worth it.

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