Welcoming Others as Christ has Welcomed Us

The second greatest commandment in the Bible is to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39), or simply “love people” as we say here at Grace.

I’m constantly praying that we would grow in our love for people! I pray that we would be known for how we love people, and I pray on Sunday mornings that we would welcome one another as Christ welcomed us (Romans 15:7).

Yesterday presented me with an opportunity to do this. I met someone who looked like a man, but was dressed like a woman. I felt an initial reaction in my flesh that I had to fight. I could sense myself becoming judgmental and I didn’t like it. My heart wrestled, wondering if I would find myself in a predicament not knowing how to address him.

How would I hide my confusion about simply starting a conversation with him? Would my expression show that I think dressing like that is wrong, and would he simply feel judged? How would I love this person? 

I’m so thankful for God’s Spirit within me.

After an initial reaction of judgment, the Holy Spirit stirred up in me a strong desire to simply love this person. I needed to treat him like a person created in God’s image. I needed to treat him as I would want to be treated.

After I got my dinner I went and sat across from him. I simply made conversation and asked him how his day was. We talked about work, and his new phone, and where he’s from.

One thing that I found out in talking to him is that I never had to think about whether he wanted to be known as male or female. When I talked to him I simply addressed him as “you”. There wasn’t any awkwardness in the conversation with him at all. It’s actually when I talked about him to someone else (my friend who was there with me) that it was awkward and I found myself wondering if I should say he or she. I want to say I was talking with my friend to figure out how to talk with this transgender, but now I’m pretty sure that conversation simply ended up being gossip.

We’ve been called to love people, and we’ve been called to show hospitality to strangers. I’m saddened that the church is “known” for hating people who are different, and I’m saddened that media is simply perpetuating that. Yes, we are committed to God’s Word. Sin is sin, and we won’t call it ok when God says it’s not. But I want the church to be known for how we love people, not for what we are against. I can love people and I want to love people because God loved me when I was his enemy. He loved me when I was unlovable.

Will you join me in praying that God would grow our love for people, and that we would welcome others just as Christ has welcomed us?

My Rightnowmedia pick of the month is a good one for parents in this age of cell phones and social media! Check it out here:


For His Glory,
Pastor Kyle