Posted by: peebles | February 24, 2015

John 13:34 (NIV) Love one another.

It is amazing how a simple misconception can shape your opinion of someone. This is beautifully highlighted in a book by none other than Jane Austen. The original title of the book was called ‘First Impressions.’ It was later given the title ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ It is a beautiful story surrounding the two main characters, Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, and specifically about Mr Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth Bennet’s prejudice. Yet it is all overcome when Mr Darcy writes a letter to Elizabeth Bennet. The barrier is taken away and they get to know each other better. Love won the day.

Pride and prejudice can be two of the biggest barriers to overcome, yet when you have the courage to do so, there is release, and there is liberty to be found in you taking off the garments of pride and clothing yourself in Christ. Your misplaced prejudice can prevent you from being a friend to someone. There is a wise old saying which goes like this, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.” The first step may be for you to simply say, “Hello” with smile, or even a warm handshake, given with meaning.

I can recall a time when someone was very cold towards me. Even though every week I would say, “Hello,” and shake their hand, I could have been put off by the icy cold treatment I received. However, I went home and prayed to the Lord, asking Him for wisdom. The following week, I saw this man once again, and headed over to him, but as I walked towards him he turned his back on me, making it plainly obvious he did not want to shake my hand, nor was he interested in receiving my greeting. I walked around him until I faced him. I looked him in the eye and shook his hand and meant it, and then said, “God bless you,” with a smile. This went on for six weeks, and then one morning, he smiled back at me, and said, “Every week you have been coming up to me, smiling, and really shaking my hand, looking me straight in the eye and saying, “God bless you.” At first I did not know what to do, but every week you still came over. Even though I brushed you off, yet, you kept smiling at me, looking me in the eye and blessing me. I have had no rest about it. God has convicted me, I am sorry. Let me shake your hand, God bless you.”” I could have let my pride stand its ground, I could have let his prejudice towards me continue, or I could have prayed for him and won him as friend.

My friend, never let your pride and prejudice stop you from reaching out in love to the “whosoever” with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible says in John 13:34 (NIV), “Love one another.” May I be so bold as to give this verse of Scripture a modern day face-lift, with an evangelistic twist? Love won another.

Love changes everything; it melts the coldest heart,

Love brings healing and reconciliation.

Love can take down unwanted or unwarranted barriers,

Love is an instrument of God’s grace.

When you learn to truly love, when you learn to truly forgive,

When you learn to love with His love,

Nothing in the world will ever be the same again.

God bless you my friend, Pastor Matthew.

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