Friday, September 7, 2007

Unusual Opportunities 2: Loving those who are different from yourself.

As we noted in my last post, it is easy for students to spend almost all of their time with other students. This is a great opportunity for Christian students to demonstrate the transforming and unifying power of the gospel.

A Christian student who is a member of their local church, and is seeking to build significant relationships with the other members of their local church is going to seem unusual. People turn up to your dorm room, and you are hanging out with a recently married couple, or a single person of the same sex 15 years older than you. People ask you what you are doing that evening and you explain that you are babysitting for a family, or going to visit an elderly member of the congregation in their home, or going to visit someone who is recovering from an operation in hospital, or helping out with a bible study for young offenders.

Jesus said, "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35). In an environment where people tend only to love people who are like themselves, the Christian love of those different to yourselves can give unusual opportunities for evangelism.: European, Asian, African, Native American (For some great reading on ethnicity see the latest 9marks journal and recent blog discussions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ); young old, married, single, educated, disadvantaged, rich, poor, pretty, plain, able-bodied, disabled, healthy, sick. This love cannot be adequately demonstrated through membership in a campus ministry, but through active membership in a local church it will: Jesus will be honoured and the gospel will be displayed.

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