Below is a post I wrote a year and half ago on loving unbelievers around me.  Reading it made me realize both how learning to love the lost has been a long process with faltering steps and how much God has worked in our lives to grow us in this area.

As I thought about the idea of being on mission in my community recently I realized that most of the time I don’t really love people. I often go through life and interact with people without thinking much about them or about the gospel. Most of the time I am far more aware of myself than I am of other people or the gospel.

I am not overtly conceited or blatantly wrapped up in my own little world (I am much better at hiding my sin than that). However, most of my time around other people is spent thinking about what I’m going to say, what I want to do, what I think about this or that, what other people might think of me, how I’m feeling, etc. Many times these are the things I am alert to and aware of- me, me, me.

Who and what are you alert to and aware of as you move through your day?

My interaction with others is often based on how they fit into my little world.

At worst I seek to use others to meet the goals of my self-love. How can they make me feel good, help me have the fun I want to have, make me happy in some way?

At best people around me are just part of my environment- like a self-check out stand at the grocery store or a passing car on the street (wow- this sounds really bad).

How do you see people?

I am praying for God’s grace to slow down, to really see people, and to consider how God views them. God made them in His image. He pours out His goodness on them in innumerable ways each day. He intimately governs the details of their daily life. He longs for them to come to repentance. He offers Living Water freely for them to drink. He holds out the message of Jesus and the joy of eternity with Him.

I am praying that my interaction with other people day to day will increasingly come to reflect the heart of God rather than a heart of self-love. Pray with me. Strive with me to love.