|Carter Budwell, Class of 2016
Paul addresses this issue in 1 Corinthians 13:3: “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” Paul recognized that it is very possible for us to endure great hardship on behalf of others, and yet not love them. The Lord Jesus Christ himself addresses this in speaking to the Church at Ephesus: “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” If we can work and suffer for the sake of Christ without loving him, we can certainly work and suffer on behalf of victims of injustice without loving them.
I have done much work on behalf of victims of poverty and injustice, both in the United States and internationally. Yet in all that I have done, I must confess that I have very often been guilty of not really loving them. Isn’t it amazing, that we can do so much for others while our hearts are still very much centered around ourselves? Yet it is possible. It is something that we must prayerfully battle against, because, as Paul warns us, if we are enduring all of these things and don’t have love, then we really gain nothing. So, may the Lord deliver all of (especially myself) from loveless service. May God give us such a love for Him and for others that any hardships that we are called to endure seem like nothing in the face of our love.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.