Who Deserves Love?
We do not deserved to be loved by God, we do not deserve to be forgiven, we do not deserve mercy. But, despite this God still loves us, forgives us, and shows us mercy. Our response to his request is to love those who also don’t deserve it. Too often we set our love and care up as an exchange. I will love you and care for you if you show that you can handle the grace I am going to give you. We are cheap with our love while God forgives with boldness. If we do good only to those who do good to us, it is of no value to us (Luke 6:33). We cannot limit our love and mercy to those that we think deserve it.
The entire Biblical story is of undeserved love and mercy being shown to those who deserved it least. The Roman soldiers who crucified Jesus were forgiven while they were in the act (Luke 23:26-38). Jesus loved us while we were still sinners, God gave manna from heaven to the fleeing Hebrews while they continuously complained against his provision and care. We as Christians are not called to care for those who deserve it but rather those who don’t. We twist the gift we have been given from God when we withhold it from those who are the least fortunate. We are called to care for even those who are poor because of their own bad decisions, for those who are sick because they didn’t care for their body, and for those who are leading broken lives caused by their own choices. These are the ones we are called to. All of society weeps for those whose lives are destroyed from outside sources. We mourn those whose life is cut short in its peak. But the Christian is called to those in the gutters, the ones who by earthly standards don’t deserve to be loved. Christ died for us while we were his enemies. When we knowingly walk away from him he still stands there ready to forgive and to welcome us back in.
I don’t know how a church or any organization can function by helping those least likely to give back, but then again I don’t think God wants us to figure out business models to prove that his commandments are not a viable business model. Instead we are supposed to respond to his love and love others who, like us, don’t deserve it.