We all sense that there is more to love than Valentine’s Day, but how far are you willing to go to show your love to a friend, co-worker, or teammate? Are you willing to love enough to risk rejection?
Rico Tice shares a story* of what he learned about his love, or lack of love, for a rugby teammate. Rico explains the incident:
“I’d given a guy in the rugby team a tape (I’m old enough that it was a tape, not a podcast) of a sermon I’d preached. It was on John 1 v 29: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (ESV). I remember that in the sermon, I simply and starkly said that either we pay for our sin in hell, or the Lamb pays for us on the cross,”
“This friend, called Ed, played my sermon one night to his housemates, who were in the same rugby team as us; and one of them, Dave, got very upset. He said: “If that’s what Rico believes, the fact he’s said nothing of it to me in months means he’s not really my friend.” So Ed rang me up and said: “Rico, you need to speak to Dave; he’s upset that you’ve not talked to him till now about what’s in the sermon.””
Rico concludes about the lesson he learned from this about love:
“If I’d really loved him, I’d have warned him about hell, shown him the cross, and invited him to trust Jesus and spend eternity with him in the new creation. It was a life-changing phone call. I found myself praying that I wouldn’t only have a sense of God’s love for me, but that I would have that same love for others: that I would love them enough to risk rejection in order to speak to them about Jesus and warn them about hell.”
Rico’s story captured my attention because it reminds me that even though I believe that God is at work in the world, it is my responsibility as a Christian to make Christ visible through my words (telling the gospel) and actions (serving others for Jesus’ sake). It’s my responsibility to share the greatest love of all with the people in my life – even when it’s tough! Sometimes there’s a pain line we must cross, the pain of risking rejection. Is your love great enough to move you across the pain line?
Who is your Dave? What do you use to help you proclaim the gospel of Christ with words? Christianity Explored and Life Explored are great tools for telling the gospel to that person. And what can you do this week to serve your Dave for Jesus’ sake?
*Rico shares this story in his book, Honest Evangelism: How to Talk about Jesus even when it’s Tough, published by The Good Book Company, 2015.