Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Love>Fear // On Loving Refugees Even When It's Scary

[Read her story here.]

As the internet has been exploding with opinions and articles and arguments over whether or not the US should let Syrian refugees in or not, my heart has been hurting. The fact that these people are even in refugee status and having to flee their country is heartbreaking. And seeing some of the things that are being said about these people adds to this heartache. 

I get it. People are scared. The threat is real (maybe not likely, but real). But, at least as Christians, we don't have to fear this worldly threat. You don't have to read much of the Bible to see that Jesus did not fear worldly threats, but instead ministered to those who were the weakest, sickest, in the most need, regardless of what it cost Him. And He calls His followers to do the same. To pick up their crosses. To love their enemies. To care for the least of these. (1) Nowhere does He command that we stay safe or comfortable. (2) 

This doesn't mean that we have to throw caution to the wind and let in whoever comes knocking. Which is definitely not the case in the US refugee vetting process. (3) But it does mean that we're willing to take risks in order to love. (4) It means that we follow Jesus' example because if His ministry would have been filled only with safe, comfortable, non-threatening things then there'd be no hope for us at all. It means that we don't let fear rule our lives and make decisions for us. (5, 6) 

Fear is a liar. It says that we have to take care of ourselves, protect ourselves, build lots of high walls and do whatever we can to stay safe. But 2 Timothy 1:7 says that "God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." Love is greater than fear. 

And as an average citizen in the Midwest there might not be a ton that I can do to practically and tangibly love these people that are fleeing for their lives. But I can control how I'm feeling. I can choose to let God's power and love and self-control in me be bigger than my fears and be open to how He might use me. I can pray for these thousands of lives that are on the brink of survival... these human beings that are made in the image of God and loved by Him. I can be loving on social media and advocate for their care and support. I can love my enemies because this is how the world will see the light of Christ. 

And if loving your enemy sounds too radical, too hard, then can't we at least love the innocent ones who are being terrorized by our enemies?

P.S. Here are some oldies (but goodies) that I've shared before, but they are kind of perfect for this post. Download away!


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