It Works When You Work It
I love Yonge Street Mission. I love what they’re about, I love their philosophical approach to ministry and support for people on the margins in Toronto, and I love that they’ve never lost sight of their Christian purpose amidst changing times.
This verse is a guiding principle in their work, and an illustration of their commitment to the mission of Jesus Christ in the city-
1 John 4:17-19 (NLT) 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.
None of us feel like we’ve arrived. None of us feel like we’ve been made perfect in love. And yet this verse is a great encouragement to all of us who feel like we don’t meet this mark- because it clearly indicates that it is a love that GROWS more perfect over time.
As they say in every Alcoholics Anonymous meeting about their method of rehabilitation, “It works when you work it”.
Love works when you work it.
You come to love people more who are difficult to love when you actually go about loving them. As we live out a Godly life in response to God’s great love for us, it actually begins to transform us into more loving people. I’ve seen this in my own life, and maybe you’ve seen it in yours.
How can we work it?
Be in the Bible to know how much we are loved by God. Memorize a verse. Go find a place to serve even just one time with an organization in your city like Yonge Street Mission. Educate yourself (hint: Google it) about poverty and issues of marginalized people in your town. Befriend someone who is not like you socioeconomically or ethnically or by family of origin.
You will find that as we live in God, and in his promises about us and his invitation to us to love others, we will grow more perfect in love.
This is the story of Yonge Street Mission. This is the story of Christians the world over. Thanks be to God for taking sinners and making them into saints by grace through faith!