One of the key dangers we face as Christians is pharisee-like attitudes. It seems that the longer we have been Christians, the more apt we are to become selective about our loving. We start to choose who to love versus being open to sharing what God has given us, unconditional love. There will be those who think that I'm talking about being overly tolerant of sin, but that is not the case. My focus is on the love itself.
We decide in our minds that certain types of people, certain levels of sin, certain attitudes about faith are less favorable to God or not as forgivable as others. We grade one sin as a higher or lower crime against God when, in truth, He can not abide by any sin and His son, Jesus died for every single type, style and method of sin.
That's where we lose the ability to share the gospel. Those who have not accepted the salvation offered by Christ's death and resurrection see us as being too intolerant, too political, too judgmental, too stuck-up and most of all, devoid of the very love we claim to promote. It's so critical that we accept the fact that God's love was meant for every person on this earth (and possibly any aliens that might fly in from Jupiter. OK, maybe not those from Pluto since it was demoted from planetary status, but you get my point.) This applies to our perception of everyone from the president down through congress, all the way to the beggar on the street. God's love is applicable to the Christian who's fallen behind in his personal time with God to the atheist or agnostic who doesn't believe the very word of God. Jesus stands at the door of every person's heart. He stands there knocking, waiting to be allowed inside. He is waiting, ever so patiently, for as many as will to open the door, allow him inside and to build a relationship with them. He wants to take the burden of life's difficulties off our shoulders and give us a load that puts him as the heavy burden carrier. Not everyone will accept God's loving sacrifice but it was made available to all who are willing to open themselves to it.
The love demonstrated by Jesus' death on the cross was done for me, you, him, her... yep, it includes her too. It is dedicated and focused on all who are willing to accept it. There's not one type of person or any brand of sin that God's love will not cover if the person truly desires to accept Jesus as LORD and savior.
Let's look at our selections of who we disdain. Look at those who we think are wrong and misguided or evil and unrighteous. Look at them and focus on this truth. We were once like them in God's eyes. We were missing out on the grace offered to us. How can we not love them even through the perceived faults we prescribe to them? Every day we get more and more grace, mercy & love demonstrated to us by our Father. Don't believe me, look to the fresh new day we all received with the rising of the sun. They are his creations too and deserve as much love as we can give them through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The unrelieved quest
Feed My sheep. John 21:17.
This is love in the making. The love of God is un-made, it is God’s nature. When we receive the Holy Spirit He unites us with God so that His love is manifested in us. When the soul is united to God by the indwelling Holy Spirit, that is not the end; the end is that we may be one with the Father as Jesus was. What kind of oneness had Jesus Christ with the Father? Such a oneness that the Father sent him down here to be spent for us, and He says—“As the Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.”
Peter realizes now with the revelation of the Lord’s hurting question that he does love Him; then comes the point—Spend it out. Don’t testify how much you love Me, don’t profess about the marvellous revelation you have had, but—“Feed My sheep.” And Jesus has some extraordinarily funny sheep, some bedraggled, dirty sheep, some awkward butting sheep, some sheep that have gone astray! It is impossible to weary God’s love, and it is impossible to weary that love in me if it springs from the one centre. The love of God pays no attention to the distinctions made by natural individuality. If I love my Lord I have no business to be guided by natural temperament; I have to feed His sheep. There is no relief and no release from this commission. Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by working along the line of natural human sympathy, because that will end in blaspheming the love of God.
Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.