Love vs Duty

I met a lovely Christian couple in my neighbourhood and, in our friendly banter, they shared with me intentions to bless the residents with gifts and organising a block Christmas party at the year-end. With all eagerness, they asked, “What do you think? Will it work?”

I was encouraged by their zeal and initiative but wondered if they were missing something. Without sounding like a party pooper, I asked, “What’s your goal in having a Christmas party for your block of a few hundred people, assuming most show up? Are you able to interact with them personally to get to know their names and care for them after the party? How about your immediate neighbours? Do you know them personally?”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for outreach initiatives. But what’s our motive and end goal for evangelism and every other Christian work we do?

Do we genuinely love and care for people, therefore desiring to lead them to the Person of Christ? Or are we simply seeking to fulfil our religious duties in getting converts?

The Pharisees believed in God and were determined to separate themselves from any form of impurity, based on their strict interpretation of the Levitical Law.

They were careful to observe the Commandments, and had a form of godliness which made them appear to love God. But inwardly, they did not have a heart that genuinely loved others.

2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us we’re transformed into the very person whom we behold. If we behold God Who is love, we’ll likewise be consumed with His love that compels us to love others.

An interesting account in John 4:4 records that Jesus ‘needed to go through Samaria’. Why? Because there was a divine appointment with a Samaritan woman by the well, whose name the Bible doesn’t even reveal. But God personally knew and loved her.

We live in a fast-paced society with busy schedules and, to stop for someone may mean a sacrifice and inconvenience to our lives. But, if God’s love compels us, we’ll take time to love people, get to know them, care for them, pray for and lead them to the Person of Christ.

In the words of A. W. Tozer, “The love of God is one of the great realities of the universe, a pillar upon which the hope of the world rests. But it is a personal, intimate thing too. God does not love populations, He loves people. He loves not masses, but men.”

Friends, don’t just answer the call of Christian duty. Let love abound even more!


Close this search box.