1 John 4:16-18
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Written by: Matt Swartz
When I was going through basic training for the U.S. Army, I had a drill sergeant that I will never forget for as long as I live. His name was Drill Sergeant Wilson and, in my mind, he was the caricature of how drill sergeants are portrayed from every movie and TV show from when I was a kid. He was tough—and could he yell—but he was fair. In the span of a couple of months, Drill Sergeant Wilson was trying to cram a ton of information into our exhausted brains, build physical strength into bodies, teach mostly unskilled marksmen how to correctly fire and care for a weapon, and also try to take a group of individuals and transform our thinking to care for the unit first.
What complicated this was the fact that we had every race, socioeconomic, and cultural background thrown into an environment of immense stress. We didn’t have time to sort out our views about each of these areas because all that mattered at the point was the mission. On one particular day, our platoon had gotten into trouble, and part of the trouble had to do with racial comments. For over an hour Drill Sergeant Wilson had us alternate between push-ups, sit-ups, and arm raises non-stop. All the while he kept saying, “There is only one color that matters in this man’s Army, and that color is green. I don’t care what color skin you have, because the mission only cares about the uniform you wear.”
The mission only cares about one color.
I have thought about that comment over the past 30 years so many times. I get it that each of us has fears about people that are different than us, and we ultimately fear what we do not understand. But the fact of the matter is that when it comes to our Great Commission to reach the world, there is only one color that matters: The red of the blood of Jesus. If we are going to place a color limitation on who Jesus loves, it would be dark-skinned people from the Middle East. He was Jewish and Middle Eastern. But the perfect love of Jesus is colorblind. That’s the message of today’s passage: It is perfect love that we choose to show a broken world every day.
Thought of the day: If Jesus can be colorblind with the greatest sacrifice of love the world has ever seen, who is someone that is different than you that you can show love to today?
Prayer: Jesus, help me today to see and love people the way you see and love people. Amen.